Gemelli with Tuna and Cherry Tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 3 turns of the pan in a slow stream
- 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 (6-ounce) cans Italian tuna in olive oil, drained
- 1/2 pint small cherry or grape tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- Coarse salt and black pepper
- 1 pound gemelli pasta -- short braids of pasta or other short-cut pastas can be substituted, such as penne rigate, cooked to al dente in salted water
- 1/3 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped, about 3 handfuls
- 20 leaves fresh basil leaves, shredded
Heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil and garlic to the pan. When garlic speaks by sizzling in oil, add tuna and mash into oil with the back of a wooden spoon. Let the tuna sit in the oil 5 to 10 minutes to infuse the fish flavor into the extra-virgin olive oil and to give the tuna time to break down -- it will almost melt into the extra-virgin olive oil. Raise the flame a bit and add the coarsely chopped tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Heat the tomatoes through, 2 minutes, then add hot, drained pasta that has been cooked to al dente. Add parsley to the tuna and pasta and toss to combine well and evenly coat pasta. Adjust seasonings. Top pasta with shredded basil and serve.
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