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Tuna, Lemon, and Caper Sauce


Canned tuna sparked with lemon and capers creates a superb sauce that complements many pasta shapes--penne, shells, or linguine, to name only a few. I prefer solid-pack tuna in olive oil for the best flavor and texture. I sometimes add a small handful of unpitted black olives--Kalamata or Gaeta--and a large, ripe tomato, seeded and diced, for a delicious variation. Italians would never serve cheese with fish, but you have my permission to break the rules!

1 can (6 ounces) tuna (chunk or solid in olive oil), drained
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped or put through a garlic press
Zest of 1 medium lemon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup fruity olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1/4 cup fresh flatleaf parsley, chopped
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving (optional)
 

Place tuna in pasta serving bowl and break it into large bite-size pieces. Add garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, and capers and stir gently to combine. Set aside to warm to room temperature, or preferably, place the bowl (be sure it's heatproof) over the pasta pot to warm the ingredients while heating the water. Once the water comes to a boil, remove bowl and set aside.

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain pasta well and immediately add to sauce in bowl. Sprinkle with parsley and toss. Serve at once with Parmesan cheese, if desired. Pass the pepper mill.

Makes 2 to 4 servings

Recommended pasta: 8 ounces rigatoni, penne rigate, farfalle (bow ties), medium shells (conchiglie rigate), or linguine


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