Pasta con pomodorini, tonno e pistacchi
"My longtime friend Viola Buitoni is a chef instructor in San Francisco and one of the best cooks I know. Enjoy her recipes!" - Franluca
For 6 people
1/4 cup capers packed in salt
1/4 cup green Sicilian olives
1/4 cup pistachios
1/4 cup fresh mint to taste
2 garlic cloves
24 ripe and sweet cherry tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 can tuna in olive oil pepper to taste
salt to taste
1 box short pasta of your choice (calamarata is in the photo)
Put a pot of water to boil. The pot should easily contain all the pasta and leave space for it to grow in size as it is cooking. The water should be salted enough to remind you of sea water.
Rinse the salt off the capers and soak them in warm water to finish expunging the salt.
Rinse the olives, crack them to eliminate the stone and chop them roughly.
Chop the pistachios.
Reserve 3 or 4 of the prettiest mint leaves for garnishing. Stack the rest, roll them and slice them in very thin ribbons.
Smash and peel the garlic.
Cut the tomatoes in quarters.
Pour the pasta in the boiling water and give it a stir.
In a 12" sauté pan gently heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil with the garlic clove, half the mint and the oregano.
Drain the tuna off its packing oil and crumble it with a fork.
When the olive oil runs quickly and shimmers and you can smell the garlic fragrance, remove and discard the clove.
Raise the heat to medium high and add the tuna. Sauté for about 2 minutes.
Drain the capers.
Add the tomatoes, capers and olives to the tuna and keep sautéing over a lively flame until the tomatoes are wrinkly and tender and there is a bit of a sauce in the bottom of the pan, it should take 5 to 6 minutes.
Using a handheld strainer, fish the pasta out of the water and transfer it to sauté pan. Add about half a cup of pasta cooking water and continue cooking the pasta, until it has reached your desired doneness-this might require the addition of a bit more pasta water.
Finish with olive oil and adjust salt and pepper. Toss in the pistachios and the leftover sliced.
Garnish with the mint leaves and bring to the table.
This sauce has some rather flavorful ingredients so I suggest adjusting salt and pepper at the very end, when it is all done. If you want a little kick, you can swap black pepper for red. Lastly, keep in mind that the timing of this is calibrated on a pasta that takes 10 to 12 minutes to cook, you will need to adjust the timing to the type of pasta you choose.
as first published on
Viola's Italian Kitchen