Linguine with Tuna, Capers and Olives

The addition of lemon zest brings out the freshness of this dish and complements the tuna

It’s hard to believe summer is officially over. Lots of things change after Labor Day. Living in the Poconos in North East Pennsylvania, Labor Day is the last hurrah of vacationers that come here to play. The next day you notice that things have changed. The roads are less busy, stores are not as crowded and there is a sense in the air that fall is coming. Many stay after Labor Day and many come back on the weekends and take advantage of Indian Summer, but for the most part things settle down here. The next wave are the hunters that take advantage of all the state land we have here to hunt and fish.

As the weather changes and cools so does my cooking. I start thinking more about stews and soups and different pasta dishes that warms your soul for the coming winter. This dish is sort of a transition to my winter cooking. It’s a pasta dish but the sauce does not involve any cooking. You prep the sauce in a bowl, cook the pasta and combine everything to make this tasty dish. I use canned tuna for this recipe so I suggest you use the best quality tuna you can find.

This recipe is made with 8 ounces of Linguine so adjust the ingredients if you make more.

  • 5 ounces of solid albacore tuna, packed in water or olive oil, drained and broken into small pieces by hand
  • 1/8 cup of capers, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup of pitted black Kalamata or Gaeta olives , finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup pitted green olives, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup flat leafed parsley, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 8 ounces of linguine
  • 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon zest

Fill a 6 quart pot with water and bring to a boil, add a tablespoon of salt. Cook the linguine according to the package directions or until it’s al dente.

While the macaroni is cooking, in a large bowl add the chopped capers, olives, parsley and drained tuna. In a small pot melt the butter in olive oil. Combine the olive oil/butter mixture with the ingredients in the bowl. Mix well.

Drain the cooked pasta, reserving a cup of pasta water. Add the linguine to the ingredients in the bowl and mix well. Add some pasta water to moisten, about 3/4 cup. Add the grated cheese and grate the lemon zest over the pasta. Serve immediately.


About Peter Bocchieri

Peter was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and is a second generation Italian-American. He has a degree in Journalism from Long Island University and is an avid photographer, gardener and pet owner. Now that Peter is retired, he is relaxing at his home in North East Pennsylvania and cooking for his sons, Michael and Joseph, family and friends. Peter's passion for food was inspired by his Mother's and Grandmother's cooking, but at the age of 10 Peter felt he could do it better himself, so he did.
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