Luckless Fisherman Spaghetti

Western Sicily is where a lucky fisherman may still catch a fresh tuna during May and June, when restaurants feature lots of interesting tuna preparations. If the tuna aren’t biting, this tasty dish can be made with ingredients found in any Italian pantry.


  • 1 clove garlic, cut into thin slivers
  • 1 small peperoncino (dried hot red pepper), optional
  • 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 green olives, pitted and sliced
  • 1 tsp capers, packed in salt
  • 1 7 oz. can of tuna packed in oil, thoroughly drained
  • 1 8 oz. can of Italian peeled plum tomatoes, crushed
  • 1 Tbsp flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 lb good quality spaghettinior spaghetti (Try DiCecco or Barilla)


Lightly sauté the garlic in the oil, and, for a piccante kick to this dish, add the optional peperoncino. Add the olives and rinsed capers and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Toss in the well-drained tuna and mash with the back of a fork. Add the peeled tomatoes and mash some more. Cook the sauce for 10 minutes over medium heat. Throw in the parsley at the end. Cook the spaghetti until it is al dente, then toss with the sauce until it is thoroughly coated. As with all fish pasta, don’t serve grated cheese with this, or risk being arrested by the Italian Pasta Police. Serves 4-6.

Serve an aromatic Donnafugata white wine made with the zibbibo grape, and you won’t care if you caught any fish, as you relax and imagine boating to the Egadi Islands in Western Sicily. Buon appetito!