Pasta with tuna & roasted tomatoes, onions & garlic

It may seem foolish to turn on the oven in the middle of summer. Okay, actually, yes, it was foolish. But when you spend the day watching the Cooking Channel, and you come across this recipe which just happens to involve many things you already have in your pantry, and you get inspired... you can imagine where this goes.

This version is decidedly different, primarily because part of my all-day food-porn-fest involved watching Jamie Oliver do a fantastic episode of Jamie at Home that was all about onions, and we happened to get a big bunch of smallish red spring onions from our farm share. This, combined with about a pound of grape tomatoes that looked like they would go bad immediately if I didn't use them soon, led to the following adaptation.

The important things to note about this recipe are the following:

  • When I talk about "spring onions," I don't mean scallions, which are often referred to as spring onions. What I mean is the small, fresh onions that have long, scallion-like tops on them. You can find them at most farmer's markets, and they're DELICIOUS. They should have a small to medium sized bulb that gets bigger as the season moves forward.
  • Oil-packed tuna is very important in this recipe, as it has significantly more flavor than the water-packed variety. There's an Italian brand that I like, but the Trader Joe's oil-packed Yellowfin is what I used for this, and it was great.
To make it: 

Preheat the oven to about 350°F. In an oven proof skillet, combine:

  • 1 lb grape tomatoes, whole, or 1 lb halved cherry tomatoes
  • 3-4 smallish spring onions, cut in quarters or halves (depending on size - you want them about the size of a largish orange segment)
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic, whole (cut them in half if they're particularly large)

Dress with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper and shake in the skillet to coat everything evenly. Put in the oven for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, shell and prep

  • about a pound of fava beans

To do this, you first want to snap off the top of the bean and drag the top down. There should be a string that goes along with the top of the strip, like a zipper. Pop the shell open and pop the beans out of the shell. Then you'll want to blanch the beans quickly (in the pasta water is fine) for about 30 seconds to a minute depending on the size of the beans. When they're done, immediately put them under cold water and pinch off the white skins of the beans, revealing the green loveliness underneath. Hold these aside, and put

  • about half a pound of pasta

into the boiling water. When the veggies have been roasting for about 30 minutes, check them; they should be a bit caramelized. If not, put them in for another ten minutes or so, but first add

  • a handful of oil-cured black olives (optional)
  • the fava beans (only if they aren't cooked - they should be soft, but not mushy)

When the pasta is done and the veggies are ready, drain the pasta and toss it into a bowl with the vegetables, the fava beans, and

  • a can of olive oil-packed tuna, drained
  • a handful of julienned basil
  • a healthy drizzle of balsamic vinegar

mix it all together and serve with a bit of feta cheese.

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