Monday, March 21, 2011

Orecchiette with Tuna, Peas, Cannellini Beans, and Mushrooms

Orecchiette, which means "little ears" in Italian, is a wonderful pasta for trapping tiny, tasty morsels. In this dish, those morsels include tuna, peas, mushrooms, and cannellini beans simmered in a white wine sauce. We gobbled up this dish at our last writers’ meeting, and everyone had seconds. (We served a veggie cheese along with the Parmesan for our veggie friends.) A Five Star Yum!


8 oz. sliced white mushrooms             1 15-oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed
6 Tbs. olive oil                                                   and drained
1-2 large shallots, chopped                   A splash of lemon juice
6-8 cloves garlic, minced                      ½ lb. orecchiette
4 cans solid white tuna in water          Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth       Fresh chopped parsley
½ cup dry white wine                            Freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano
1 tsp. dry oregano                                                  cheese
1 10-oz. pkg. frozen peas                                    

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tsp. salt.

2. Rinse peas briefly and drain. Don’t worry if they aren’t completely thawed.

3. Heat 1 Tbs. olive oil in deep frying pan. Over medium high heat, sauté mushrooms in oil until they give off their liquid and start to brown. Remove mushrooms from pan and set aside.

4. In same pan, heat remaining 5 Tbs. olive oil. Sauté shallots until they are soft, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and stir for 1 minute.

5. Stir in wine and broth. Bring to a boil and simmer about 13 minutes. Stir in beans, peas, and mushrooms. Season to taste with salt and pepper and let sit while pasta is cooking.

6. Cook pasta according to package directions, which should take about 11 minutes.

7. Drain pasta and add to bean mixture. Reheat briefly, add drained and chopped tuna, a splash of lemon juice, and parsley. Serve with crusty bread, salad, and your favorite white wine. Pass cheese separately. Generously serves 4-6.


  1. This sounds delicious, Pat. Do you have a recommendation for the wine to use?

  2. Dawn, everyone really loved this dish. My husband asked if I would use 4 cans of tuna next time, but otherwise I wouldn't change a thing. I used a Pinot Grigio, my standard dry white cooking wine.