One day, I had spiked my tomato sauce with some horseradish (just enough to add warmth, not black-belt heat) and wanted to build a meal around that. If you don't have horseradish, use another hot/spicy condiment. Vary the fish or the root vegetable but always use the corn as your main vegetable. Last, this is possible year round - pull your ingredients from pantry, fridge, freezer or even the farmer's market. —Nancy
4-6 as main, more as a side
dried short pasta (12 oz, odds & ends or all one kind)
Tomato sauce (home made or store bought)
Tuna or other fish canned in oil
beets or other root veg (fresh frozen canned or pickled)
corn (fresh, frozen or canned)
horseradish sauce (or wasabi sauce or red chile flakes)s)
lemon juice or white wine vinegar
Salt & freshly ground pepper
olive oil, optional (if tuna was canned in water)
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. Or add 1-2 tbsp olive oil if tuna was canned in water.
When the pasta is nearly al dente (1-2 minutes less than package instructions), take the pot off the heat. Do not rinse or drain the pasta. Rather, using a skimmer or slotted spoon, remove the nearly-cooked pasta to the dish with tomato-fish-vegetables and toss together. Taste & season if needed with salt and pepper, lemon juice or more horseradish. Also add half to one cup pasta cooking water to 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. Thaw in fridge, or take directly from freezer to oven or microwave.