preserved tuna
Photo Credit: Sara Remington

Pasta with Preserved Tuna

Traditionally prepared using jarred or canned preserved tuna belly.

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preserved tuna

Pasta with Preserved Tuna

Traditionally prepared using jarred or canned preserved tuna belly.
Course: Dinner
Keyword: pasta, tuna
Servings: 4
Author: Melissa Muller


  • salt
  • 2 tablespoons salted capers
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 cup Tomato pulp
  • 2 tablespoons Sicilian dried oregano
  • 1/2 pound preserved tuna belly
  • 8 Sicilian green olives, pitted and sliced
  • 1 pound dried long pasta, such as busiate


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
  • Put the capers in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse them under cold running water for a couple of minutes to remove the excess salt. Squeeze out the excess water.
  • In a wide shallow pot, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the red onions and sweat until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes, squeezing them with your hands first so that the pulp falls into the pot. Add the tomato pulp, oregano, tuna belly, olives, and capers, along with 1 cup of the boiling water. Simmer for about 10 minutes, until the tomato sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  • Cook the pasta in the boiling salted water until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the sauce with some of the reserved cooking liquid if the sauce appears dry. While constantly stirring, simmer the pasta and sauce together until the sauce gently coats the pasta. Taste, seasoning with more salt if needed.


Excerpted from Sicily: The Cookbook, Recipes Rooted in Traditions © 2017 By Melissa Muller. Published By Rizzoli.
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