Anchovies can be quite a divisive ingredient, can’t they? Their strong flavour and slightly odd texture is very much a love or hate ingredient. For me it all depends on how they’re used… I’m not the sort of person who would choose to scatter them over a salad straight from the jar or tin. That’s wrong on so many levels. But when used to add flavour to a sauce or dressing then you can absolutely count me in.
They’re one of the key flavours in a Caesar Salad dressing – bringing a deep savoury flavour that would otherwise be missing. They’re not too bad on pizza either, as they tend to melt into the other toppings and add a few rather enjoyable punches of saltiness. In this Lemon & Rocket Linguine they’re used to give the base of the pasta sauce a bit more substance that would otherwise be lacking.
You can’t taste the anchovies in the final dish, but you’d certainly be aware of their absence. They bring a wonderful umami quality that complements the fresh lemon, sweet leeks and peppery rocket that make up the rest of the sauce. Indeed, after the first couple of minutes in the pan you’d never know they were there as they dissolve away into the oil. By the time the leeks have softened and the parmesan melted into them you’re left with a delicious sauce that clings to every strand of pasta.
A perfect bed for the marinated and griddled Tuna Steak that sits on top. Here I’ve broken it up into generous chunks but you could just as easily serve the tuna whole on top of the pasta. Though you will want to enjoy the pasta and fish together, as the flavours are rather wonderful as they combine in your mouth.
This Lemon & Rocket Linguine with Griddled Tuna Steak is like Summer on a plate. So why not make some quickly before we slide into Autumn and these warm evenings become little more than a memory…
Lemon & Rocket Linguine with Grilled Tuna Steak
- 2 Tuna Steaks around 250g total weight
- 1 Lemon juice and zest separately
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- ¼ tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 3 Anchovy Fillets
- ½ tsp Dried Chilli Flakes
- 1 medium Leek washed and sliced
- 4 tbsp Dry White Vermouth
- 25 g Parmesan grated
- Handful Rocket Leaves
- 120 g Dried Linguine
- Put the Tuna Steaks into a bowl or zip-lock bag, Add half of the lemon zest (saving the rest for later), along with 1 tbsp of olive oil and the black pepper. Turn the tuna in the mixture until coated, then pop to one side to marinade for a few minutes.
- Head the remaining olive oil in a heavy frying pan over a medium heat. Add the anchovy fillets and chilli flakes to the pan and stir for a minute or so, until the anchovy melts into the oil.
- Add the washed leeks to the pan and stir to coat in the oil mixture. Loosely cover with a lid and reduce the heat to medium-low. Sauté the leeks for 10-15 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally to ensure they don’t burn.
- When the leeks are softened, turn the heat back up to medium-high. Add the vermouth, remaining lemon zest and all of the lemon juice to the pan and stir through the leek mixture. Allow to bubble for a minute or two, until the liquid has reduced to form a thick coating over the leeks. Cover and keep warm over a very low heat until needed.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook the linguine according to the packet instructions.
- Heat a second frying pan or griddle over a medium-high heat. Remove the tuna steaks from the marinade and cook for a few minutes on each side until they are cooked to your preference. I like mine to remain a little pink in the middle, but each to their own on this front.
- When the pasta is cooked drain it well, reserving a few spoonfuls of the cooking water. Add the water to the leek mixture and stir through to create a sauce. Add the parmesan and rocket to the pan, and mix through the leeks allowing the cheese to melt and the rocket to wilt.
- Mix the pasta through the leek mixture, ensuring it’s well coated, then divide between two bowls. Cut the tuna steaks into large chunks and scatter over the top of the pasta, then serve.
|Estimated Values per Serving|
|of which Saturates||3||g|
|of which Sugars||5||g|
|Note: Nutritional information shown is per serving of the above recipe. Any side dishes or garnishes shown in photos are not included in these values, unless they are specifically listed as part of the recipe.|