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This is a deliciously simple no-cook pasta sauce. We love the tangy hint of lemon that gives it an extra dose of flavor, and it blends perfectly with tuna. The addition of olives and capers makes this no-fuss Italian dish all the more satisfying. It’s a piatto povero. The sort of meal that was a staple for Italian peasant families, and still remains a favorite across Italy today. In other words, you can make it on the cheap.With only a handful of basic ingredients you’ve got a complete dinner.

While some people swear by using shells for this recipe, we’ve found it goes great with all sorts of pasta varieties: taglietelle, penne, spaghetti, you name it. Experiment with different combinations until you find your own personal favorite!

Pasta with Tuna & Lemon Sauce


  • 8 quarts water
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 1 pound pasta of your choice
  • 1 (6-ounce) jar artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1/4 cup drained and rinsed capers
  • 1/2 cup pitted and chopped Kalamata olives
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 (6 1/2 ounce) cans imported Italian tuna in olive oil, drained
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • Grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese


  1. Bring water to boil in a large pot.Add salt and pasta. Wait for the water to return to a boil, then cook al dente according to package directions.
  2. Drain pasta, reserving Ω cup of the cooking water.
  3. Move pasta to a serving bowl. Add reserved cooking water to the pastaóthis keeps it from sticking together.
  4. One by one, mix in artichoke hearts, capers, olives, lemon juice and zest, tuna, and olive oil. Sprinkle black pepper to taste.
  5. Garnish with chopped parsley leaves and a dusting of parmesan.
  6. Buon appetito!

Recipes makes four servings.

Adapted fromEpicurious.

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