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Author Notes: How to get food that is not only virtuous but good when needing to make a clean-out-the-fridge-dish? Once in a while (let's say, 2 times out of 10), I strike gold, as in this winter warmer. I had spiked my tomato sauce with some horseradish, which led me to add beets...a flavor combo often used to garnish (relatively bland) gefilte fish. The horseradish doesn't dominate, but it does add a warm note running all through the dish. Serves 5-6 as a main, but more as a side or small pasta course. —Nancy
Makes 3 quarts
- 12 ounces dried short pasta (all one kind or mixed odds and ends, about 4 cups)
- 3 cups simple tomato sauce (home made or store bought)
- 6 ounces tuna, canned in oil
- 1 cup beets, cooked (I used pickled sliced, but any will do)
- 2 cups corn (frozen or canned)
- 2 tablespoons white horseradish sauce (or grated raw plus white vinegar)
- lemon juice or wine vinegar, optional
- Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Start about 5-6 quarts water to boil. Add salt. When boiling, add the dry pasta and start to cook it.
- Meanwhile, in an oven-proof casserole (about 4 qt size), mix horseradish, tomato sauce, corn, beets and tuna. Include the beet liquid & tuna oil - they carry good flavors.
- When the pasta is nearly al dente (1-2 minutes less than package instructions), remove the pot from the heat. Do not rinse - you'll lose the good starch in the water. Using a skimmer or slotted spoon, remove the nearly-cooked pasta to the casserole dish with tomato-fish-vegetables and toss all together. Taste. Adjust seasoning if needed with salt and pepper, lemon juice or more horseradish sauce.
- You can interrupt your prep here and store the mixed but only partially cooked dish in the refrigerator, covered, up to 3 days.
- Warm briefly in a medium hot oven (350-400F) about 15 minutes if making the recipe straight through, or 20-30 minutes if taking it directly from the fridge.
- Wine options. A light Zinfandel or Primitivo, to pick up on the tomato. Or maybe a dry Riesling to pick up on the tuna.
- Extras freeze well. I thawed a test batch, then warmed in microwave, and it tasted good. You could also warm from frozen, in oven or microwave.