Gemelli with Tuna alla Siciliana

tomato sauce raisinscapers pine nuts

This is my comfort food. Comfort food because it is a pasta of things that I generally always have on hand, it’s warm, it fills you up but it’s fruity with crunch and tang all at the same time. This isn’t macaroni and cheese, which is comfy, but a food that lacks layers, this has layers and layers bring me happiness, and therefore comfort.

tomato sauce with tuna, raisins, capers and pine nuts

I’ve posted on similar pastas like this one, but this is the original, those were variations on my central tuna pasta with raisins and capers. Not sure why it took me 7 months to post it online. It could be that I had made this pasta so frequently for so long that my husband would groan when I would propose it, so 10 months may have lapsed since the last time I made it.

breadcrumbs gemelli

Gemelli with Tuna alla Siciliana

  • 1 can of tuna packed in olive oil
  • 1 15 oz can of san marzano tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2  cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
  • 1 tbsp salted capers, rinsed (you can also use pickled capers, but they have a less pungent flavor)
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • toasted bread crumbs
  • 1/2 lb of gemelli pasta
  • salt for pasta water
  • bunch of parsley, chopped

Fill a large pot with water for the pasta. Bring to a boil over high heat.

Heat oil in a wide saucepan over medium-high heat and add the whole cloves of garlic. When garlic starts to sizzle add the tomatoes, squashing them through your fingers to break them up. Add all of the juice from the can and then fill with water to get the rest of the tomato into the pot and to reduce the acidity in the sauce. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Add the raisins and the capers and simmer until the water for the pasta is boiling.

In the meantime, toast your breadcrumbs in a small heavy bottomed skillet. I usually keep old bread in the freezer and chop it up in a blender when it has thawed, it is much better than store bought breadcrumbs, and two minutes more of an effort.

Once the water starts to boil for the pasta add a small handful of salt to the water and bring to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. You should add the tuna and the pine nuts to the pan at this point.

When the pasta is perfectly al dente, add a cup of the pasta water to the sauce, turn up the heat and drain the pasta. Without shaking all of the water out of the colander pour the pasta into the pan and toss it with the sauce. This allows for the pasta to cook a little longer in the sauce and to absorb the flavor.

Take the pan off of the heat and toss with the toasted bread crumbs and chopped parsley. Serve immediately.

gemelli with tuna alla siciliana

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~ by italicious on May 1, 2009.

One Response to “Gemelli with Tuna alla Siciliana”

  1. When i looked at the pix i thought the raisins were cured olives. I like the idea of the touch of sweetness with the tuna and capers, so im going to try it. I usually add raisins and pine nuts when i make meatballs. My family wants them this way everytime.

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