So I get home with nothing ready for dinner and soccer starts in 1 1/2 hours! The boys have to eat and as I am desperately looking for something quick (and losing precious minutes searching), I see a lonesome spaghetti box in the cupboard and a can of tuna which is a good starting point, and now focus on some kind of sauce. In the fridge, the veggie drawer is empty, except for a few green onions that I have seen better days and I spot some leftover olives and some oil packed artichoke hearts. Voilà! The light bulb goes on and I’m thinking tapenade! With a few basil leaves from the garden, it was terrific! So much so, that I want to share it with you so you can keep it in your back pocket for emergencies. Feel free to swap out the herbs (parsley or chives would also work great here) or swap out the artichokes for some sun-dried tomatoes. Omit the tuna to make it a vegetarian meal. And if you so happen to have some parmesan lying around it will be even better!
Start by boiling some salted water for the pasta. In a jar, where you will be able to use your handy hand blender or in the food processor, dump the olives, artichoke hearts, onions, basil and pulse a few times. Start cooking the pasta and once it is almost cooked, grab a cup of the pasta water and add a little at a time to your olive mix and purée until it becomes a thick sauce.
Drain the pasta and put back in the pot along with the sauce, adding the tuna and parmesan if using, and toss everything together. Serve with fresh ground pepper or red pepper flakes along with a couple of fresh basil leaves. Dinner on the fly has never tasted so good!
- 1 box of pasta
- 1 can of tuna (optional)
- 1 cup of olives (any kind will do)
- 1 cup of artichoke hearts
- 1 small onion or green onions
- 1/2 cup of fresh basil
- Fresh ground black pepper or red pepper flakes