|Grace shops her
own home pantry
This recipe is from Food and Wine’s Grace Parisi. Sometimes I wonder what Chewing the Far would do without Grace Parisi. Here she’s taken something so basic and put a delightful Spanish spin on its taste. The result is a dish whose red Piquillo peppers and high-end Spanish tuna deliver a dish with a burst of creamy rich flavor. It’s worth noting that this recipe was from an article entitled “A Lesson in Cupboard Cooking”. In it, Grace extolled the virtues of keeping a well-stocked pantry from which to “shop” for dinner. This makes such good sense for all those nights when you get home late, the lines in the supermarket are daunting or when the weather keeps you indoors. The only caveat to this idea is that you need to keep track of what is in the pantry. If you don’t, it’s almost guaranteed that when you finally remember that jar of hearts of palm, it will have an expiration date of 2004.
The pantry raid for our Cazuelas (Casseroles in Ingles) involved the red Spanish peppers, pequillos. Once these were worthy of a Google search to find. Now Trader Joe’s carries their own store brand. The Tuna or Atun should be of the highest quality, packed in olive oil. You will find that in addition to the Spanish brands, there will be Portuguese and Italian versions. They all cost at least four times what you’d pay for Bumblebee but there is a profound difference in quality and taste. It’s advisable to use all the tuna in the package at one go. I’ve discovered it does not keep well once opened. But this recipe which is for four people will use the entire 6 oz. all by itself. My problem was in halving the recipe. It’s wonderful to serve these in individual gratin dishes but if you don’t have a supply of them, you can make this in a 9 x 9 baking dish. But do make it. And do call them Cazuelas de Atun y Farfalle. Doesn’t that have a prettier ring than “Tuna Noodle Casserole” ? Here’s the recipe: