Canned Tuna With Olives and Capers √

Serves 4 to 6.

Note: This dish is the pride of the Aeolian Islands, located off northeastern Sicily, because it uses their two principal products: tuna and capers. It's also the quintessential last-minute sauce and offers decisive flavors — tuna, capers and olives, with a background of fragrant oil, garlic and pepper. With no tomatoes, it's the oil that serves as sauce and vehicle for distributing the solids, so an assertively fruity oil is the best choice. From "Sauces and Shapes," by Oretta Zanini de Vita and Maureen B. Fant.

4 tbsp. salt-packed capers, rinsed free of all salt

1/2 c. pitted black olives in brine, preferably Gaeta or taggiasche

• 2 garlic cloves

1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil, preferably intensely fruity

1 (7-oz.) can top-quality imported oil-packed tuna, drained well

• Freshly ground black pepper

1 lb. pasta, preferably a long pasta such as spaghetti, linguine or bucatini

2 heaping tbsp. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley


Chop the capers, olives and garlic together (in the food processor, if desired). Combine with the oil in a skillet large enough to hold the pasta later and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Crumble the tuna into the pan and mix well. Grind on plenty of pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes, then remove from heat and keep warm.

Bring 5 quarts of water to a boil in an 8-quart pot over high heat. Add 3 tablespoons kosher salt, then add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente.

Stir 3 to 4 tablespoons of the pasta water into the contents of the skillet. Drain the pasta and add to the skillet. Mix well, sprinkle on the parsley, and serve immediately directly from the skillet.

Nutrition information per each of 6 servings:

Calories 570 Fat 24 g Sodium 665 mg

Carbohydrates 67 g Saturated fat 3 g Calcium 34 mg

Protein 21 g Cholesterol 5 mg Dietary fiber 4 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, 4 bread/starch, 1 lean meat, 4 fat.