Pasta with Tomatoes, Canned Tuna, and Capers


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 con Pomodoro, Tonno, é Capperi)

Difficulty Rating:  Easy
Makes 4 servings.

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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