Easy Breezy Recipes

Affordable Gourmet-style Recipes

Author: Ila Bhatt

Looking for recipe ideas that are easy to follow, inexpensive and relatively guilt-free too? Try incorporating an American household favorite -- canned tuna!

For something a little different that promises to please guests and family, Bumble Bee provides some delightful, recipe ideas made with canned tuna's new gold label Prime Fillet. Keep this gourmet quality solid white albacore tuna ready in the pantry for parties, unexpected guests or family get-togethers. Then, whip up an affordable gourmet-style meal that will have your guests convinced you've prepared something truly elaborate and extravagant. As an added bonus, they will enjoy canapes or entrees that are delectable, but without those serious calories.

Specially developed by two of California's leading chefs, here are recipes that demonstrate how canned tuna is no ordinary ingredient.

** Mediterranean-Style Rigatoni Pasta with Prime Fillet Albacore

Recipe by Chef de Cuisine Fabrice Poigin, Bertrand at Mister A's, San Diego

This simple and flavorful pasta dish with a Mediterranean flair is ideal whether sitting down to dinner with the family or celebrating with guests. Chef Fabrice suggests complementing this with a glass of 2001 Spottswood Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc. Serves 4.


1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

4 ounces unsalted butter

1 large sweet onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice

2 red bell peppers, deseeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice

1 vine ripe tomato, diced

5 cloves of garlic, minced

A sprig of rosemary

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 small jar of Spanish olives (green olives stuffed with pimientos), drained

2 6-ounce cans of Bumble Bee Prime Fillet Solid White Albacore, drained

1/2 pound rigatoni pasta

1 tablespoon thinly sliced chives

Dry aged parmesan, grated

Pinch of crushed red hot pepper flakes (optional)

Directions:: Bring water to boil in a large pot according to package directions in preparation for cooking the rigatoni pasta. Heat 2/3 of the olive oil and 4 ounces of unsalted butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat until nearly hot but not smoking. Add diced onions and cook for approximately 5 minutes until soft. Add diced red bell peppers, reducing to low-medium heat and cook until peppers are soft. Add diced tomato, minced garlic and 1/3 teaspoon of rosemary sprig leaves. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Cover and cook over low heat for another 10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of dry white wine and simmer for 5 minutes. Then, add drained whole olives and Bumble Bee Prime Fillet tuna in solid pieces to sauteed mixture. Cover and cook until tuna is heated through (approximately 3 to 5 minutes).

Cook the rigatoni pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water according to the package directions or until al dente. Drain the pasta in a colander, leaving behind a little moisture. Toss the pasta, tuna sauce and water, then place in a serving dish or on individual plates. Drizzle remaining olive oil over the top and garnish with thinly sliced chives and grated dry aged parmesan. Top with a pinch of crushed red hot pepper flakes, if you prefer a little more bite.

** Delicate, Festive Albacore Tuna Canape

Recipe by Chef de Cuisine Fabrice Poigin, Bertrand at Mister A's, San Diego

An easy-to-follow, elegant-style canape for entertaining guests or just treating yourself to a unique way of serving up albacore tuna! Serves 6 to 8.


1 6-ounce can of Bumble Bee Prime Fillet Solid White Albacore, drained

2 finely diced shallots

1 tablespoon chives, thinly sliced

1 soup spoon creme fraiche

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Sourdough bread (optional)

3 ounces of comte cheese or aged white cheddar, sliced thinly

Extra creme fraiche for garnish (optional)

1/2 ounce domestic caviar (optional)

Chervil sprigs (optional)

Directions:: Mix together Prime Fillet tuna, shallots, chives, creme fraiche, and salt and pepper. Spoon mixture onto toasted triangles of sourdough bread or into Chinese ceramic serving spoons. Top each serving mixture with a slice of cheese and place in a pre-heated oven (300 degrees) until cheese begins to melt -- approximately 3 minutes. Remove toasties or Chinese spoons from the oven and top individually with a dot of creme fraiche, and then a dot of caviar (optional). Finish with a sprig of chervil to garnish.

** Prime Fillet Albacore Tuna and Potato Casserole

Recipe by Chef Gerald Hirigoyen, owner and executive chef, Piperade and Fringale Restaurants, San Francisco

Recognized in Food & Wine magazine's 2003 Top Ten Best New Wine Lists, Chef Gerald suggests complementing this entree with a glass of 2001 Turnbull Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc. Serves 4.


1/2 cup olive oil

2 large onions, thinly sliced

4 medium Anaheim chilies, seeded and thinly sliced

2 bay leaves

8 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced

2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered

1 cup dry white wine

3 cups vegetable stock or canned vegetable broth

6 to 8 saffron threads

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

1 mild dried chili pepper

4 6-ounce cans of Bumble Bee Prime Fillet Solid White Albacore, drained

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Pinch of piment d'Espelette (Basque chili pepper) or mild cayenne powder

Directions:: Warm 1/2 cup olive oil in a large casserole over high heat. Add onions, Anaheim chilies, bay leaves, and garlic and saute for 10 minutes. Add the potatoes, wine, vegetable stock, and saffron. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to medium. Add salt, pepper, and dried chili pepper, and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Add the tuna and saute for 2 to 3 minutes, or until warmed through. Stir only occasionally to avoid breaking apart the fish. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Discard the bay leaves before serving. Serve in shallow soup bowls, and sprinkle with the parsley and piment d'Espelette.

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