The Chopped Dinner Challenge is a series of recipes showing you how easy it is to cook like a winning Chopped competitor. Every week, FN Dish will showcase a recipe created by Food Network Kitchens that uses at least one of the Chopped basket ingredients, plus basic grocery goods and simple staples. Consider it your very own Chopped challenge. Just take this frequent tip from the judges: Don’t forget to season!
For this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchens chose to feature the basket ingredient of canned tuna, which most often ends up in lunchtime sandwiches and salads rather than the most-exciting dishes. But this recipe for Penne with Tuna and Wilted Romaine elevates the canned good into a dish that’s much more interesting. It’s a great option for dinner, especially on a night when you’re lost on ideas and scrambling in the fridge or pantry, hoping inspiration will strike. This recipe is a road map for a quick, effortless dinner for your family made with pantry staples and a few fresh ingredients.
To start the recipe, you’ll want to preheat the oven. Then get your tuna ready by draining it, but reserve the oil it was packed in. Take your stale bread and turn the slices into crumbs using a food processor. Toss the crumbs with the reserved oil and toast in the oven. While that’s happening, get a large pot of water boiling for the pasta.
To make your sauce, heat olive oil in a skillet and add garlic and chile flakes. Once the garlic has softened, add your grape tomatoes, capers and white wine. Cook until the liquid reduces by half and then add the romaine lettuce to wilt and the drained tuna to warm through. Toss the sauce with the cooked pasta, using some reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce if need be. When you’re ready to serve, top with the toasted breadcrumbs.
Get the Recipe: Penne with Tuna and Wilted Romaine
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