Seared Tuna Loin Fillet With Spicy Tomato Fusilli Pasta
Tuna and pasta of one type or another is a fairly popular combination but the tuna used in such recipes is perhaps most often canned. Where available, fresh tuna loin takes this classic but simple dish to whole new levels. The tuna can be seared in a standard, non-stick frying pan as in this instance or on a griddle, grill or even barbecue. Whichever method you employ, however, it is important both for texture and fullness of flavour that the fillet always be left at least that little bit pink in the middle. If it is even slightly overcooked, it will dry out and lose most of its unique appeal.
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 15 min
Ready in: 20 min
Yields: 1 serving
- 1 large garlic clove
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 8 ounce can chopped tomatoes in tomato juice
- 1 large, medium strength green chilli
- Salt and pepper
- 1 coffee mug full of dried fusilli pasta spirals
- 4 to 6 ounce tuna loin fillet
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped flat leaf parsley, plus extra to garnish
Peel the garlic clove and finely slice. Pour a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in to a small saucepan and gently heat before adding the garlic slices and sauteing over a very low heat for a minute or so until just starting to soften.
Pour the tomatoes in to the pan, stir well and turn up the heat until the mixture starts to simmer. Reduce the heat to achieve as gentle a simmer as possible.
Cut the top off the chilli and discard. Finely slice the body and add to the tomato sauce and season with salt and pepper. Stir well and continue to simmer as gently as possible while you cook the pasta and tuna.
Bring a large pot of fairly heavily salted water to a rolling boil. Fill a coffee mug with fusilli pasta (or measure it out in whichever way you choose) and pour the pasta in to the boiling water.
Stir the pasta around in the water with a large spoon and bring back to a simmer. Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle to moderate simmer for eight to ten minutes.
A couple of minutes before the pasta is due to be ready, pour a little extra virgin olive oil in to a non-stick frying pan and bring it up to a very high heat. Season the tuna fillet on both sides with salt and pepper before laying it in the pan to fry for an initial minute and a half.
A plastic spatula is best used to turn the tuna fillet before it is fried again for a minute and a half on the second side.
Lift the tuna from the frying pan to a warmed plate and leave it to sit and rest for a couple of minutes while you finish preparing the pasta and sauce.
Drain the pasta at your sink through a large colander or sieve and leave it to sit for a couple of minutes to steam off and dry out. Pour the pasta in to the sauce, add the freshly chopped parsley and carefully stir fold to combine.
Spoon the pasta and sauce in to a deep serving plate and spread it out to form a bed for the tuna.
Lift the tuna to a chopping board and use a very sharp knife to slice across the grain to a thickness of around half an inch.
Arrange the tuna slices on top of the pasta in a circular fashion - like the spokes of a wheel - and garnish with the last of the parsley.
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© 2018 Gordon N Hamilton