My visits to Italy are not complete without sharing a plate of pasta with my cousin Rita and her family. We’ve built many memories together, from the sleepovers as young girls to the nightly strolls in the town piazza to beach excursions. There are other good reasons for accepting a dinner invite from her. She’s not only a fabulous cook but also surrounded by places and family whose culinary roots run deep – her in-laws founded one of the largest cheese manufacturers in Southern Italy; her sister-in-law runs a popular pizzeria; and her summer abode overlooks the Mediterranean Sea in a centuries-old seaport where fishermen have been bringing home their catches to make memorable dishes like this one. It combines tuna and tomato, among other unlikely combinations, to make a distinctively sweet-savory pasta sauce that takes me back to the time I spent with her.
13 oz (375 g) whole wheat or whole-grain farfalle (bowtie) pasta*
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cups diced red bell peppers (about 1 to 2 peppers)
1 can (28 oz/796 mL) no-salt-added whole peeled tomatoes with liquid, chopped
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp granulated sugar
Pinch ground nutmeg
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
1 can (6 oz/170 g) flaked light tuna (skipjack preferably) in water, drained
2 tsp capers in brine, rinsed
3 to 4 tbsp crumbled light goat’s cheese (2 oz/56 g)
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta al dente according to package directions.
In the meantime, heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a very large pot or deep non-stick skillet and add onion and peppers; cook until softened, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add peeled tomatoes with liquid, salt, sugar, nutmeg and black pepper; reduce heat to medium and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in tuna and light goat’s cheese until well combined and heated through.
Reserve a couple ladles of pasta water. Drain pasta and toss well with tuna sauce. If pasta is a little dry, add some pasta water as you toss. Sprinkle pasta with parsley and serve immediately.
5 to 6 Servings
30 min or less
Gluten-free* (Replace with GF pasta)
PER SERVING 355 CALORIES | 5 G TOTAL FAT (1 G SATURATED FAT) | 12 MG CHOLESTEROL | 279 MG SODIUM | 55 G CARBOHYDRATE | 8 G FIBER | 19 G PROTEIN