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Pesto, Tuna and Pea Pasta

I’d much rather eat pasta and drink wine than be a size 0.

– Sophia Bush

Do you ever have really lazy days? Sometimes when I come home all I want to do is wallow in front of the TV or Netflix eating ice-cream and a packet of crisps. However, as I’ve already mentioned, I’ve found out I have a bit of a cholesterol problem; so being so self-serving is getting to be less and less of an attractive option. I’ve had to make some tough changes over the last 8-9 months. I no longer eat school lunches in one of my schools and I am gearing up to stop in the other so that I can bring healthier choices.Though they aren’t all the healthiest meals, I’ve eaten a lot less white rice in the last 4 months than I had been up to that point. I’m eating a lot more vegetables and I am generally eating smaller portions, or at least am getting full more quickly.

Since coming back to Korea after my summer holidays, I’ve been working on a project to improve my health—go to bed earlier (10pm is the goal), get up at a consistent time from Monday – Friday (6am is the goal), and get out for a walk everyday (until Sept 30, a two-mile walk is the goal). It’s been hard work, but one thing I’ve noticed is just how tired I am when I go to bed any later than 11. My bedtime before August was somewhere between midnight and 1 am. What a difference a few weeks makes!

Trying to go to bed earlier, get out for a walk, do general household work as well as hanging out with my friends, doing projects, etc has left not a whole lot of hours for cooking. As I am naturally lazy, I decided I wanted to stick to some tried and true recipes—ones that I turn to time and again when I need something quick and healthy—until I get used to my new schedule.

The one I am sharing with you is a really simple, lazy meal. It’s quick and easy, and all the chopping you need to do can be done while the water is boiling. I kind of consider it a “leftover meal” as I usually make it when I have pesto that is in danger of going off or that one onion that’s been hanging around along with the last of the frozen peas.  It might not be the most spectacular meal, but it’s simple, tasty and takes around 30-35 minutes to make (including the time it takes to boil a big pot of water).

Pesto Tuna and Pea Pasta

Serves 3

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • approx. 2 cups conchiglie or tri-colour fusilli pasta
  • approx. 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3-5 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
  • salt and pepper
  • pinch of chili flakes (optional)
  • approx. 1 cup tuna, drained
  • 2-3 tbsp green pesto

Method

  1. Boil a large pot of water with a little salt.
  2. While boiling the water, chop the onions and slice the garlic. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, boil another small pot of water with just enough water to cover the peas once added. Once boiling, add the peas and cook as per the directions on the packet (usually 2-3 minutes).* Drain and set aside.
  4. Once it has a rolling boil add the pasta, a dash of olive oil, and another pinch of salt and cook until it is al dente.
  5. Once you add the pasta to the boiling water, heat a frying pan over medium heat and add the oil. Once hot, add the onions, garlic, salt, pepper, and, if using, chili flakes. Stir frequently until the onions and garlic are softened and slightly browned.
  6. Add the tuna and heat through for 1 or 2 minutes stirring frequently.
  7. Add one tbsp of pesto and stir through the tuna mix. Cook for another minute or two.
  8. Drain the cooked pasta, and add to the frying pan along with the peas and remaining pesto. Cook for around 5 minutes until everything is well coated.
  9. Serve with fried zucchini. 

*To save on time or dishes (or in my case if you only have a one-ring stove), boil water in an electric kettle. Place the peas in a colander and pour hot water on them just before draining the pasta. Then add the drained pasta to the same colander. The heat from the water and pasta will thaw out the peas.

TIPS

One-ring-stove: When using a one-ring stove, cook the pasta first, then the peas and finally start on step 4. You can also just thaw out the peas, as mentioned above as this will save on some time and pots.

Gluten-free option: For a gluten-free option, use gluten-free pasta.

Leftovers: Add some grated cheddar or parmesan cheese when heating leftovers.

Make it your own: Add extra/less onions, garlic, tuna and pesto as per your own preferences.

 

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