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Presto Pasta Nights #87: Codito con Tuna edit

Codito_1From my childhood: Codito con Tuna

This is my entry for PPN #87, which I am hosting this time. I apologize for the short delay of my post...I have been in the wine country of Argentina, in a tour through the most important wineries in the different provinces, a program just for the top sommeliers from Venezuela, Colombia, Costa Rica and Panamá. Thank you Wines of Argentina for this one in a lifetime opportunity! Muchas gracias!

When I think of food I think of the good times and places I visited when I experienced such dishes or simply inhaled for the first time the perfume or in cases, the unforgettable not-so-good smells of this or that. Many things come to my mind, including the days that would never come back, the time spent with people that I do not see anymore, and friends and relatives who passed away. Great memories, each and everyone of those bring me joy,...bring a sight and the longing for the land of the long ago.

It is like a library of smells and flavors, an array of vivid colors coming along with the breeze and the mist in the air, the unique expression of each place.

Codito_2Going as far as I can, always I find one dish I can taste in my mind with the only thought of it: Codito con Tuna. I remember being a little girl and asking my mom to prepare it to me, time after time, after time... I loved it so much. And now, my little niece Alexa loves it to...it must be in a good, healthy and fun way, the Latin American version of "macaroni and cheese!"

It is very easy to prepare and you can prepare it in advance and store it in the fridge, covered, for up to 3 days. It is delicious cold with a salad, or warm it up a little bit in the microwave (1-3 mins) if you prefer.

For the pasta:
Cook 2 cups of elbow pasta according to the manufacturer's directions. Drain, wash in cold water and drain again. Reserve in a clean bowl and add some olive oil, so it doesn't stick together. Add the "tuna sauce" and serve with a delicious salad with lettuce and other veggies for a complete meal.

For the tuna sauce:
Since I love the "solid tuna in olive oil or water," I will suggest you use them for this recipe. But, you can actually use any kind of canned fish, drained, for this recipe.

Since I love a lot of tuna in this dish, I will suggest you use 2 small cans. But, you can actually use 1, it is up to you. As you can see, this recipe is very flexible, it is mostly about what you have available at the time and how do you want it!

After you open the can and drain the water (if you are using tuna in water), separate the chunks using a fork. If you are using tuna in olive oil, I suggest you do NOT drain it. You know...it's not a good idea to discard the good stuff hahaha

Add 1/2 to 1 cup of mayonnaise or sour cream, or a combination of both to it. Add 1/2 cup chopped onion, 1/3 cup chopped celery, 1/2 cup frozen mixed veggies (corn, petit pois, carrots, etc) if you want to kick it up a bit, and a pinch or two of comino (ground cumin). Adjust seasonings and mix it well. Add to the cooked elbow pasta, mix well and serve.

Serving suggestion: it is delicious with a salad made with fresh lettuce, tomatoes and onions, OR create something fun and colorful to match this traditional easy to prepare dish, that will please the little ones and adults too.

Buen provecho!

Chef Melissa

  • by Chef Melissa
  • November 02, 2008
  • 1:18 am

From the Tropics: Presto Pasta Nights #87 edit

PrestopastaThis week The Cooking Diva will be hosting Presto Pasta event #87. Please email me your entries to - cookingdiva AT gmail DOT com until Friday October 31st and we will include your post in the delicious roundup.

Plus...Don't forget to check all the Presto Pasta Night Roundups dating back to March, 2007, see who's hosting for the next four weeks and check out guidelines and tips for entering and hosting.

Muchas gracias Ruth for the opportunity to host for the first time this event.
Have a tasty week!

Chef Melissa (writing from Mendoza, Argentina this time! Will blog about that SOON! Stay tuned...

  • by Chef Melissa
  • October 28, 2008
  • 6:11 am

Deliciousness: Weekend Herb Blogging #95 Recap edit


Finally, here it is!!!

Can you believe that in a few more weeks we will all celebrate two years of continuous blogging friendship through Weekend Herb Blogging? Kalyn is cooking some ideas on how to celebrate the two year anniversary.

I'm not the only one who's been thinking about the upcoming anniversary. Haalo from Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once had an idea of asking people to post about their favorite vegetable this year. I like that idea a lot, and what a great collection of vegetable recipes that would be! We have ten weeks to decide how we'll be celebrating, so let me know in the comments if you have thoughts about this. (From Kalyn's WHB#94 Recap)

Since this is my first time hosting a Weekend Herb Blogging event, I am very happy because of your support and all the scrumptious entries you sent during the past week. We received thirty seven entries from all over the world, what makes the blogosphere the perfect place to meet without having to stamp our passport. Three days ago I noticed that some of the emails sent to me with the WHB post's information, ended up in the "spam" folder. If I am not wrong, I rescued ten of them! I really hope that I didn't miss anyone, but if I did...please re-send your e-mail asap and I will include it in the recap.

Right now I am writing from the beautiful city of Philadelphia where I have been for the last 5 days for the United States Personal Chef Association Conference. I have met so many interesting chefs and bloggers, including: Mark Tafoya (Remarkable Palate & Culinary Podcast Network), Betsy (Ovens to Betsy), and Vickie (The Moveable Feast). In a few days I will write a complete report of the conference with some photos and a video. I will also include step by step photos of a couple of recipes I prepared today in the workshop I taught: "Creative Freezable Meals From the Tropics." So stay tuned!

Now, lets take a look of this week's delicious parade of entries! For each complete post we invite you to visit each author's blog.

#1: From Connecticut, US: Blueberries
Sarah enjoys Mother and Father Nature's bounty by picking blueberries and baking some beautiful Blueberry Streusel Muffins...Visit Cucina Bella to learn about this delicacy!

1140013722_1633925700_t #2: From Gurgaon, Haryana, India: Sage
Raaga overcame her fear of yeast and baked a fragrant Garlic and Sage Bread. Such a delightful combination. Visit The Singing Chef to read the complete post and get her baking tips!

#3: From Melbourne, Australia: Leeks & Parsley
Truffle prepares a soup which is warming enough to carry you through the last days of winter with a hint of springtime green. It is a lovely medley of creamy smoked bacon chowder and aromatic leeks and parsley that cut through the richness...Visit What's on My Plate to read the complete post!

1139833940_661a8b8f3c_t #4: From Melbourne, Australia: Cooking with Beetroot!

Haalo from Cook (Almost) Anything at Least Once prepares a colorful Beet Chutney.

This recipe comes from Iain Hewitson's book on the Tolarno Bistro and it's a rather old-fashioned Beetroot Chutney. Explore the glorious pink sweetness of this root through this recipe, we are positive it will become an instant favorite!

#5: From Sydney, Australia: Cooking with Wild Figs from Iran
Y from Lemonpi prepares one of my very favorite foods: Poached Spiced Figs. This batch features closed fruit, but you can also get them split, revealing their pretty pink interiors. In the dried form, they are hard - less fleshy than their larger dried counterparts. When poached, they puff up slightly and, depending on how long you poach them for, can be salty and soft, or slightly chewy, just the way I like them, as an accompaniment to scoops of vanilla ice-cream or dollops of sweetened yogurt. ...Continue reading!

#6: From London, Ontario: Basil
Lisa cooks up some Delia Smith's Pesto Rice. This pesto rice is one such easy and elegant addition to an ordinary summer dinner that will make it seem anything but ordinary, and at the cost of very little time or effort...Get the scoop now by visiting Lisa's Kitchen!

1139210221_659e59c572_t #7: From Zurich, Switzerland: Lavender
Myriam prepares Lavender Jam!. This lavender jam is a wonderful thing to have in your pantry. Since it's not as firm as usual jam, it makes a wonderful glaze for chicken, lamb or any kind of fish you would put on the grill...Visit Once Upon a Tart to get the complete story and delicious recipe!

#8: From Landau, Germany: Carrots
Maria Helene prepares Carrot Cakes! These unique and colorful cakes would be perfect for an appetizer or as a side dish to accompany your favorite entree. Head over to Neues Aus Der Kueche to learn more about this tasty tale...

#9: From London, UK: Gooseberry
Roshani from Living to Eat dresses up pretty-in-pink a mackerel dish. You will be amazed how beautiful and simple is to prepare this sauce, naturally pink! Visit her blog and learn more about this delicious fruit and how to cook up Mackerel with Gooseberry Sauce!

#10: From Amsterdam: Cooking with Lemon Zest and Ginger
Kel's kitchen inspiration worked wonders as always and transformed a traditional pasta dish into an innovative creation: Auberguini Lemon Linguini with Chicken. Visit Green Olive Tree and start cooking now!

#11: From Estonia: Bog Billberry
Pille, the talented girl behind Nami-Nami, bakes up some good looking muffins and shares her knowledge on bog bilberry which is a close relative of bilberry and high bush blueberry...Wait no more and visit Nami Nami for more information!

#12: From Ontario, Canada: Dill
Sarah prepares the all time loved Dill-Poached Salmon and shares a few tips about this aromatic herb.  Take a moment to visit What Smells So Good and learn how to prepare this classic!

#13: From Andalucia, Spain: Cooking with Grapes and Thyme!
Zorra cooks up Chicken strips à la Vigneronne and suddenly a rainbow of colors and aromas invade the blogosphere. Visit Kochtopf and learn how this inviting combination of ingredients interact in this dish...

1137898141_c298ccbc68_t_2 #14: From Canada: Lemon Balm Tea

Louise from Blue Cat - Gato Azul prepares an invigorating lemon scented tea and some amaretti. Apart from flavoring risotto, vinegar, wine, jelly, teas, you can also use Lemon balm to rub on wooden furniture to restore a lustrous shine. Learn more about this plant and enjoy an afternoon tea by visiting Louise's Blue Cat!

1138940974_675519ea85_t #15: From Chicago, US:  Mint & Thyme

Erin goes to a picnic and enjoys Ripe Melon with Mint which elevates the natural sweetness of summer melon. When paired with this subtle variety of mint, both tastes find a unique balance. To complete the meal she also prepares Thyme Chicken Salad. Keeping it simple is the way to enjoy a summer day picnic!1149268517_a5a695b7e0_t

#16: From the Bay Area, US: Fagiolino

Simona shares her adventures in the kitchen and her garden by exploring the Fagiolino bean. Fagiolino is a diminutive of fagiolo (bean) and it is most often used in the plural, fagiolini. Even if you like your beans boiled, steamed or raw, head over to Briciole and expand your bean knowledge now!

1150267284_553470e456_t #17: From Soddy Daisy, TN, US:

Pam cooks up a delicious looking Salmon and Thai Rice Salad. Rich broiled salmon rests atop a lean vegetable-and-rice salad to make a beautifully balanced meal. The Asian dressing includes big-impact flavors--fish sauce, lime juice, and cayenne--but very little oil. Get the scoop by visiting Sidewalk Shoes!

1082260414_fcf4fdfc48_t #18: From Melbourne, Australia: Osmanthus-scented baked sago pudding

Ahn's Food Lover's Journey dresses up beautifully with Sago pudding, which is very popular around Southeast Asia and it is often served with coconut milk and/or fresh fruits.  This version is not as rich. It is instead quite light and easy on the palate. The essence of this dish, in her opinion, is the use of osmanthus sugar syrup. Take a moment to visit Ahn's blog and learn how to prepare this loved Asian inspired delicacy.

1150755980_253ca89e7b_t_3 #19: From Vienna, Austria: Skewers with Turkey & Veggies and thyme-d rice

Astrid intended to use the rosemary twigs as skewers but they were too soft and I was not able to spike the things onto them porpperly so she used skewers and poked the rosemary only through the zucchini parts. The result: an incredibly fragrant and colorful meal...Check it out by visiting Paulchens!

1150083807_f890ba8d62_t #20: From Victoria, Australia: Aussie Meat Pie

Pam from The Backyard Pizzeria bakes an all time favorite, spicing it up with oregano and nutmeg. The Four'N Twenty Meat Pie was invented in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia by LT. McLure in 1947. The meat pie is a very popular food product in Australia as strong demand for the pie saw production grow from 50 pies per day to 50,000 pies per hour in between the years of 1948 to 1998. Continue reading...

1151060644_3e43613337_t #21: From Southern California, EU: Linguine with swiss chard and garlicky bread crumbs

Emily from Superspark takes pasta to a different level! "There’s a certain point at which old bread becomes a bit too old, even for our soggy bread faves. At that point it’s all about making bread crumbs. This dish makes a dent in our stockpile of bread crumbs, refashioning them into crunchy, garlicky bits." Such a delicious way to dress up a pasta dish! Get the scoop now!

1150358497_b5614fa069_t #22: From Melbourne, Australia: Another Outspoken Woman and her Tortilla with a Sting !

"Nettles: I asked and you told me - ‘use it like spinach’ and soon I discovered that this herb with a sting is easily tamed into a sweet bunch of greens." Outspoken or not, head over to Confession of a Food Nazi for the complete article and recipe!

1150444329_fc01c31d95_t_2 #23: From Gluten-Free Cooking School:  Savory Sage Corn Cakes by Mary Frances - Yum!

What do you get when you need to figure out how to use the sage in your garden, you want to try a new recipe, supper needs to be on the table pronto, and you’ve been thinking about writing a post for Weekend Herb Blogging? Well, I have no idea what you would get, but I got Savory Sage Corn Cakes. Visit her blog now!

1150516297_17a5a72d6e_t #24: Astrology of the Cocktail: Marry mi' gold - A Shandy for Leo

Gwen, the mastermind behind Intoxicated Zodiac shows off the gold: "The sun rules the marigold, as you might guess from the flower’s near fluorescent orange color, and ray-like petals that protrude outwards like little sun flares from the largest star in our solar system. As with the Leo’s in our life, who need a steady stream of love and attention to show their brilliance, marigolds need a steady stream of hot sun."

1150767363_e75658478b_t #25: From Texas, US: Fried Corn

Ashley from Delish tells the story: "I remember watching my Grandmother make this as a kid…it was one of my favorite things to eat in my Grandmother’s kitchen. I can’t remember the last time I had it, but I knew it was time for a little taste of my childhood." Head over to Delish and learn about the traditions in this part of the world!

Mojito #26: From Panama City, Panama, Chef Elena shares: The Original Cuban Mojito Recipe - La Receta Original del Mojito Cubano (EN/ES)

When I checked out the original recipe prepared at la Bodeguita del Medio in Havana, Cuba, I wasn't sure on which type of mint leaves to use. Mojitos use a type of mint with rough, rounded, and bright green leaves, in spanish it's called "hierbabuena", which literally means "good grass".  Get the scoop now!


Heirloompanza #27: From Iowa City: The Inadvertent Gardener presents a delicious Heirloom Panzanella.

Genie says: For this salad, I used almost every tomato I’m growing. I left out the Gold Medal variety, which didn’t have any ripe ones at the appointed hour, and the Mexico Midgets, because they’re so cute and tasty on their own that it seemed a waste to put them in a salad. This version included Brandywine, Amish Paste, Stupice, Green Zebra and Yellow Pear. Head over to her blog to read the complete post!

Chilligingerboychoy1 #28: From Australia, the talented Anna from Morsels & Musings cooks up a great looking Chilli & Ginger Bok Choy With Gochujang Salmon

Anna remmarks: Bok choy has bright green leaves with paler, chunky, smooth surfaced and oval shaped stems. In fact its shape is a bit like a squat celery bunch...Learn more about how to cook bok choy by visiting her blog!

#29: From the South of France, Riana, the mastermind behind Garlic Breath, shares a very special and tasty find:

We found these beauties doing the tango in grandpa's garden. Braided bonsai carrots? Nope, just tangled and in lurve. Almost too pretty to eat, but we did! Home grown carrots are so sweet and have a different flavor than those store bought ones. They also get limp very quickly so you have to eat them right away.

Courgetterounds #30: Katie from Thyme for Cooking beautifully presents a delightful to the eye (and I am sure to the palate too!) dish prepared with zucchinis: Warm Stuffed Zucchini Cups.

Noodleswithhempcheese #31: If you have heard already about "Hemp Seed and Cashew Seed," this is not the post for you! In the other hand, I am pleased to announce that The Chocolate Lady enlightens Us with this exotic, yet delicious combination...unheard to many of us until today. Thank You! Read more about this dish now!

#32: From Vancouver, Canada, Katerina harvests some rosemary sprigs from her garden and prepares an incredibly looking Rosemary Grilled Leg of Lamb! Heaf over to Daily Unadventures in Cooking to get the full story and tasty recipe...

Salm #33: Me, Nigella and Dill is what Tomato's Ed had to share for this WHB #95! Such a lovely, enticing photography...makes me want to go fishing for some salmon right now.. Anyways, we invite you to take a moment to visit his blog to get the complete story and recipe...

Shucking #34: Rebeca from Dinner in the Yellow House in Victoria, BC, Canada does a fantastic step by step presentation on how to prepare Oysters Rockefeller! The tutorial starts with the cleaning and finishes with a beautiful presentation paired with a Verdehlo. What are you waiting for...Check it out now!

#35: If you are in the mood for stuffed tomatoes, or even if you have never prepared them...this is your Lucky day! Claudia from Fool for Food shares a simple yet delicious recipe to prepare Stuffed Tomatoes with Goat Cheese! Get cooking now...

Roastedbabysquashwithfetaandthymere #36: From Kalyn's Kitchen: Roasted Baby Summer Squash with Feta !

One of the wonderful things about having summer squash in your vegetable garden is that soon you'll have so many you feel perfectly justified in picking them when they're tiny, similar to the baby squash you get in the fanciest of restaurants. Continue reading...

2_8 #37: From The Cooking Diva Kitchen, enjoy this Mejillones in Coconut-Culantro Sauce! The post is in Spanish and English. In this recipe we are featuring culantro, a strong flavored, aromatic herb from Panama. Head over to the Cooking Diva blog and start cooking now!

Hope you liked the recap and learned many new things!

Happy Cooking!

Chef Melissa


  • by Chef Melissa
  • September 13, 2007
  • 6:13 pm

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