There are times in everyone's life when you're just too tired, or too sad, or just too meh! to cook, yet the desire for comfort food is warring with the desire to continue sitting where you are, quietly dissolving into further misery.
Well, this is the perfect recipe for one of those occasions - and what's more, quite apart from being so tasty it could bring a teensy glimmer of a smile to your face, it's good for you!
I have got to admit that I wasn't feeling either too tired, too sad or too meh! on Tuesday evening when I served this up for our dinner, but as a contender for "Pizza Tuesday" (when we're trying to ignite Son & heir's interest in foods other than those on his plate), it was perfect.
Son & heir, you see, has decided that tuna is one of those ingredients that shall no longer sully his particular plate. "It's too dry!" he complained, the last time I served it to him. (Although it would appear to be okay as tuna pasta bake. Work that one out if you dare).
I'd bought him a Lasagne to have that night but he managed to finagle his way in to his friend's house where he had been invited to stay for tea, which left us to tuck into our pasta in peace.
Mind you, it wouldn't have been difficult to have made expansive gestures of delight and deliciousness over our plates of pasta, as the recipe really is quite lovely. Hubby had only managed about 10 minutes of anticipatory napping, when the call to attention was made. Quite literally, all you need to do is put four things into a bowl, two things into a saucepan of water - and you're done! Just about enough time to warm up some plates.
TUNA & LEMON PASTA (serves 2)
350g pasta shells
200g pack trimmed fine green beans, cut into short lengths
200g can of tuna in olive oil
grated zest of a lemon
1 heaped tbsp baby capers
a generous pinch of chilli flakes
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil for drizzling.
1. Fill a large saucepan with water, add a pinch of salt and put on a high heat to boil.
2. Cook the pasta according to pack instructions. (Usually around 8-9 minutes).
3. With around 3-4 minutes to go, add the beans and cook until tender (or until the pasta is done. If you're dubious about timing these two correctly, just cook the beans in a separate pan).
4. Into a bowl, tip the tuna (including the oil) and flake the fish gently. Add the lemon zest, capers, chilli and a good helping of pepper.
5. Drain the pasta and beans, return them to the pan and toss in the tuna mixture. Stir gently to combine. If the mixture is looking a little dry, add a drizzle or two of extra virgin olive oil.
Serve on warmed plates.