Complex flavors are achieved in this simply prepared recipe for Linguine with Grilled Tuna and Capers by doing a quick char of the fish and veggies.
The story behind Linguine with Grilled Tuna
Another winner from my inbox, this recipe for Linguine with Grilled Tuna is largely based on an Epicurious recipe titled Linguine with Grilled Tuna, Capers, and Parsley.
It was a great, simple, delicious-sounding dinner that was going to help me use up some of that yellowtail I bought from Pike's Peak Market in Seattle; fish I still have seal-a-mealed up in the deep freeze. And it's time to use it up. Because I can't go back to get more until I do. And I love Seattle, so it's time to go visit, eat, and shop.
"A simple char, a few easy ingredients, and it's dinner."
Seal-a-Meal - worth it?
Before I get into the recipe, per se, I'd like to tell you a little more about my seal-a-meal and why I think it is totally worth the cost, not only for the vacuum sealer but also for the bags.
It's worth it because it allows you to keep your food fresh, longer.
Much much longer. With no freezer burn.
And, when you want to defrost something, simply plunk the sealed bag into some icy cold water and let it sit for about an hour.
Unless you are talking about a big ass roast, it will more than likely be thawed. (If you are going to need more than an hour, I recommend you place the pot with the water and the food in the refrigerator. Safety first. Or, if going for an all-day or two-day thaw, just put the bag in the refrigerator and be assured any juices are going to stay inside the sealed bag.
And don't feel you need to get the most expensive one, the very simplest one will do the job just fine.
Chef tips for perfect Linguine with Grilled Tuna
OK, back to the recipe for Linguine with Grilled Tuna. When reading through the original recipe, I thought the flavors sounded great, but there were a couple of areas that could be better.
- One, placing the garlic on a skewer and then grilling it. Putting garlic on a skewer is hard enough, but having to soak the skewer and then try to grill this without it falling through the grids of the grill just seemed a bit like ... too much work. So I sautéed the garlic in a dry skillet for 3 minutes, and it was fine. You just want to get that mild roasted garlic flavor anyway, and this is a simple way to accomplish it. If you are using a grill pan, easy peasy...throw the garlic on the grill pan.
- The second thing, in the original recipe, that hit me was the use of 2 cups of chopped parsley. I like parsley, but this sounded like parsley overkill. I used one cup, and it was perfect. Feel free to use more if you want...
- The third was the lemon. My lemon only yielded a little less than a quarter cup, so I added more, plus the lemon zest. So I would say, ¼ cup of lemon juice, plus the zest. This added such a nice fresh flavor that enhanced the smokiness of the leek, and the grilled fish with rosemary.
- Rosemary. Use fresh! Dried rosemary is so...dry. And hard. And woody. And not very flavorful at all. Almost every store carries fresh rosemary these days, and if yours doesn't, try growing some. It grows prolifically in window gardens or as a hedge. There might even be some growing in somebody's garden down the street that they would probably be happy to share with you.
What if I don't have fresh tuna?
If you don't have any fresh tuna, you could use canned. But only use solid tuna packed in olive oil, not water.
Linguine or Linguini
Although if you Google linguini you will find recipes, from some rather large recipe sites, using this all too common misspelling don't be fooled. It's linguine.
A simple char, a few easy ingredients tossed together, and it's dinner. On the table ... in about 20 (maybe 30) minutes.
Serve with Steamed Green Beans with Slivered Almonds or a Baby Greens Salad with a Light Balsamic Vinaigrette to complete your meal.
We enjoyed this with a glass of unoaked (or as they call it now "naked") Chardonnay. A Sauv Blanc would also be a good choice ... if you are into these things.
Here are more fish and pasta recipes for you to try...
Linguine with Grilled Tuna
- 1 pound fresh tuna I used yellowtail
- 1 large leek white and light green parts only, halved and well washed, then dried
- 3 unpeeled cloves of garlic
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil plus more for brushing
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 12 ounces dried linguine
- 1 cup fresh parsley leaves roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon capers rinsed and roughly chopped
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon zest first, juice second
- Crushed red pepper flakes optional
- Light your grill and heat for 10 minutes, or preheat your grill pan.
- Brush both sides of the leek and the tuna with olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Rub the rosemary on both sides of the tuna. Heat a small sauté pan over medium heat, if using the outdoor grill. If using a grill pan, place the garlic on the grids and toast for about 2 - 3 minutes or until tender. Set aside. (if not using the grill pan, sauté in the sauté pan until tender) When cool enough to handle, remove the garlic from its skin.
- Cook the pasta in boiling water according to package directions. Reserve ½ cup of the cooking liquid. While the pasta cooks, begin to grill the leek, turning occasionally until it is tender and slightly charred. Remove and allow to cool slightly. Place the tuna on the grill and grill until cooked to your liking, about 2 - 3 minutes per side for just slightly pink.
- Slice the leek into ½ inch slices, discarding any tough pieces. Chop the garlic. Flake the fish into large chunks. Combine in a deep bowl; add the cooked pasta, parsley, capers, lemon juice, lemon zest, and ¼ cup of olive oil; toss well, adding a bit of the pasta cooking water if it seems too dry. Season with salt and pepper; then add the crushed red pepper, if using. Serve.