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Sicilian Spaghetti with Tuna & Capers


At a recent Weight Watchers workshop, a member remarked that she had prepared Sicilian Spaghetti with Tuna from the latest WW cookbook, Cooking 101. She and her husband loved it, she said, but when I showed a photo of the recipe to the group there was the sound of collective groaning. I vowed to everyone that I would try it ASAP.


You'll have to trust me on this one. The combination of pasta with tuna, capers and lemon juice is utterly delicious. What's even better, the ingredients are shelf-stable and can be stored in the pantry for quick weeknight meals.


Sicilian Spaghetti with Tuna is an age-old Italian recipe that has traditionally contained anchovies instead of tuna along with fresh tomatoes and Kalamata olives. Weight Watchers simply substituted water-packed tuna for the anchovies and roasted red bell peppers for the tomatoes. I'm thinking that you could add halved grape tomatoes if you don't have jarred roasted peppers. Add them when the capers go into the skillet and simmer until the tomatoes almost burst.


Once you try this refreshing lemony pasta you'll want to put it in your regular summer rotation. Be sure to keep everything on hand in your pantry for dinners with minimal effort and maximum taste. It's a win-win!


8 oz, whole-wheat spaghetti

2 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. olive oil, divided

3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, plus more for serving

2 (4.5-oz.) cans tuna in water, drained

1 1/2 cups sliced roasted red bell peppers

2 Tbsp. capers, drained

1/2 tsp. salt, plus more for salting the pasta water

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest, plus 1 1/2 Tbsp. juice


Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions.


Meanwhile, in a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 2 tsp. olive oil on medium low. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook until golden, 2 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the tuna, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Stir in the roasted peppers, capers and salt and cook until just heated through, about 2 minutes.


Reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta and add to the skillet. Add about 1/2 cup of the cooking water and toss to coat. Stir in the parsley, lemon zest and lemon juice, and remaining 2 Tbsp. oil and toss until well combined. Serve the pasta with more crushed red pepper if desired and more lemon juice.


Serves 4


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