Saturday, September 6, 2008

Tuna Puttanesca

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

1 pound penne pasta
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cans (about 5.5 to 6 ounces each) Italian tuna in oil or water, drained well
6 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
A generous handful black olives (Gaeta, kalamata or oil-cured), pitted
and chopped
3 tablespoons capers, drained
1/3 cup white vermouth or 1/2 cup dry white wine - eyeball it
1 (28-ounce) can whole or diced tomatoes (recommended: San Marzano)
A generous handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons lemon zest
Fresh ground black pepper
Crusty bread

Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring up to a boil. Salt
the water and cook penne to al dente.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet with 3 turns of the pan extra-virgin
olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, cook
a minute or 2, then add tuna and break it up with your spoon. Add
olives and capers, cook a minute or 2 more, then add vermouth or white
wine; stir and cook down a minute. If using whole tomatoes, place a
colander over a bowl, crush up tomatoes with a wooden spoon, then add
tomatoes and their juice to pan. Otherwise, stir in diced tomatoes and
juice. Add parsley, zest and black pepper, then simmer the sauce a
couple of minutes more.

Add a couple of ladles of starchy pasta-cooking water to the sauce.
Drain pasta, add to the skillet and toss to coat. Serve with some nice
crusty bread.

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