Chilli tuna with buckwheat pasta – gluten free

We are having chilli tuna pasta tonight for dinner, using one of our favourite pastas – buckwheat (recipe is bottom of page).

Buckwheat pasta has a slightly nutty taste and has a great texture – doesn’t go soggy when cooked.

I love it that we now have access to some really interesting non-wheat pastas – including ones made from lentils, mixed pulses and of course buckwheat. This is great for me as I have coeliac disease and until recently gluten free meant rice and corn based pastas.

Buckwheat pasta – for tonight’s dinner

I guess the name buckwheat is a little confusing – it’s not actually related to wheat at all and but rhubarb.

Buckwheat groats

It’s the seed (or groat) that is either eaten whole or ground up to make flour.

Buckwheat packs a nutritional punch above it’s weight.

  • Carbohydrates – contains mainly low GI so less likely to spike blood sugar levels and healthy amounts of fibre.
  • Protein – small amounts of good quality amino acids, unfortunately not well digested.
  • Vitamins and minerals – more than most other grains. Contains – reasonable amounts of manganese and magnesium and lesser amounts of zinc, B6, folate, iron, B5, B2, B3, copper, selenium and phosphorus.
  • Besides vitamins and minerals, buckwheat contains bioactive compounds for example rutin. Research is underway studying rutin and it’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory health benefits. For more reading see research paper link attached (1).

Although the West has only recently discovered buckwheat, it is part of many other cultures cuisine.

  • Soba noodles (Japan) are made from mostly buckwheat and wheat flours.
  • Buckwheat pancakes (yeast based) – blinis (Russia), galettes (France).
  • Many others use buckwheat flour to make traditional celebratory dishes.

I’ve had galettes in Paris – they were so good!

Have you used buckwheat? What sort of dishes have you made, do you have any favourites?

Tonight’s dinner – chilli tuna with buckwheat pasta

Recipe – Chilli tuna pasta sauce

This sauce can be used to top any pasta and is really quick to make and very tasty. It goes really well with buckwheat pasta.

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 185g can of tuna in chilli oil (I use the Sirena brand)
  • 400g jar of tomato passata
  • 2 cups of baby spinach leaf (washed)
  • 8 black olives (kalamata) pips removed and roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp of baby capers rinsed
  • 3 cloves of garlic – peeled and crushed
  • parmesan cheese for sprinkling over pasta sauce (if required)
  • pasta of choice

Method

  • Use medium saucepan for sauce and large saucepan for the pasta of your choice. Heat up the pasta water and start cooking your pasta.
  • Add to medium saucepan the drained chilli oil from the canned tuna, the chopped olives, capers and garlic, cook over medium heat for 2 minutes or until lightly browned – do not burn.
  • Add the passata and stir to combine. I add a little water 1/2 cup to the passata bottle or can – give it a stir and pour into the saucepan as well.
  • Add the baby spinach and allow to cook down (wilt).
  • Add the tuna – break up any chunks and cook through.
  • Let it simmer for around 2 minutes, stirring a couple of times. Taste for seasoning and add salt if required.
  • It’s ready to serve on your pasta and top with parmesan cheese if required.

References

  1. Enogieru, AB, Haylett, W, Hiss, DC, Bardien, S & Ekpo, OE 2018, Rutin as a Potent Antioxidant: Implications for Neurodegenerative Disorders, https://www.hindawi.com/journals/omcl/2018/6241017/

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