Pasta with Tomatoes, Canned Tuna, and Capers

tunasaucelg

This dish is the Italian version of tuna noodle casserole.  Several years ago while visiting family in Sicily, a cousin invited me to dinner.  He was cooking what looked like a simple marinara sauce to me.  Then he proceeded to put canned tuna in it.  My initial thought (or horror) – when I saw him putting canned tuna in the sauce – was that I was in for a pretty revolting meal.  Thankfully, I was wrong and the pasta was surprisingly delicious.  I also learned a lesson in not making premature judgements before tasting anything.  The canned tuna doesn’t make the dish taste fishy at all.  It is similar in flavor to a Puttanesca sauce or a red clam sauce.  Best of all this simple dish it can be made, from start to finish, in thirty minutes.

PASTA WITH TOMATOES, CANNED TUNA, AND CAPERS
(Pasta con Pomodoro, Tonno, é Capperi)

Difficulty Rating:  Easy
Makes 4 servings.

INGREDIENTS:
1 (28-ounce) can San Marzano peeled tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons minced Italian flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon capers
1 teaspoon granulated sugar of honey
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1 (5 ounce) can tuna (tonno) fish packed in olive oil, drained
Salt and black pepper
1 (1-pound) package spaghetti or fettuccine pasta, cooked al dente

Place tomatoes in a medium bowl, crush with your hands and set aside.  Heat olive oil in a medium sauce pan or large skillet over low heat.  Add garlic and cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes.  Stir in tomatoes, parsley, capers, sugar, and red pepper flakes if using.  Bring to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring constantly.  Lower heat, stir in tuna, and simmer for 20 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve over pasta.

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