Meat Lite: Spicy Orecchiette With Tuna, Peas, and Lemon


This is one of my all-time favorite pasta dishes. It's dead-simple, comes together in a matter of minutes, and I can bet that you have the ingredients sitting in your pantry right this minute. It's a spicy pasta with no real "sauce," just a fiery garlic- and chili-infused olive oil that clings to the pasta with the aid of some reserved pasta water, along with canned tuna (I pull out the fancy olive oil-packed stuff for this), frozen peas, and a copious amount of fresh lemon zest.

I like to use orecchiette or "little ears" for this dish—the tiny saucers do a good job of cupping the tuna—but any chunky-shaped pasta such as penne or mini shells would do the trick as well.

Oh, and if you're wondering why I'm giving you a fish recipe in a column entitled "Meat Lite," it's because I know from my Vegetarian Option posts that many of you consider fish to be meat, so to speak. If you count yourself among that crowd, you'll be glad to know that each serving of pasta contains only a little more than an ounce of tuna; if you don't, well, then I guess you can eat with even more abandon.