Monday, March 12, 2012

Kitchen Improv: Niçoise Pasta

Nicoise salads were popularized in Nice, France. It's traditionally made with anchovies, tomatoes, black olive, capers, and lemon juice. When I studied abroad near Talloires, France, my host mom would make a liberal version of the Nicoise salad whenever we had leftover pasta or rice. The beauty of this  recipe is that it is made of ingredients that you usually have lying around anyways, so it works magic with leftover starches.

Niçoise Pasta:
2 cups cooked orecchiette (or I really like using farfalle)
2 eggs (hardboiled)
1 cup string beans
1 tomato
1 tin tuna
3 tablespoons tomato sauce
2 cloves or garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup black olives, sliced
black pepper, salt

1. Slice the hard boiled egg, dice the garlic and cut the string beans. Make sure all the other ingredients such as the hard boiled eggs and the pasta are prepared. 
2. Heat a pan with the olive oil, then sautee the garlic. Once the garlic is browned, add the string beans. Cook on high heat (adding a few spoonfuls of water or chicken broth and covering the pan will help the beans cook faster). Once beans are about ready, stir in the tomatoes, tomato sauce, sliced olives, and about a teaspoon of salt. Turn off the heat. 
3. Combine with the tuna, sliced hard boiled egg, and cooked pasta. Mix thoroughly, flavor with  pepper. 

I also love this recipe because it's meant to be eaten cold. It works great as a lunch on-the-go, and makes a great pasta salad for picnics on warm days like this!

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