By Ted LaPage (& inspired by Flora Alda)“The recipe is Spaghettini Amalfitani, from ‘99 Ways to Cook Pasta’, by Flora Alda (mother of Alan Alda, the actor). At least, that’s where it started. My version has changed some from what’s in the book, for simplicity and available ingredients. So far nobody’s complained.”
1/2 cup olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 – 2 anchovy fillets (you can leave these out, but they give some extra flavor)
15 – 20 Kalamata olives, chopped (or a mix of black and green, as long as they taste like real olives)
2 tsp. capers
large pinch dried thyme
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 can tuna (original recipe is for standard 6.5 ounce can – this version is for one of your 7.5 oz. cans)
spaghettini / thin spaghetti (2 – 3 servings) (If you feel motivated, make your own. Fresh pasta is really nice for this.)
Cook the spaghetti as per usual.
Put the olive oil in a medium skillet, and add the anchovy fillet, olives, thyme, and red pepper (while the skillet is still cold). Turn the heat to medium and wait until the anchovy has melted and the olives begin to sizzle. Add the garlic and let it cook briefly – you don’t want it to brown, but only turn slightly golden. Add the tuna, along with any juices from the can, and break it into small pieces. Mix well and simmer for 5 minutes or so. Add more olive oil if the mixture seems dry. [The original recipe was based on oil-packed tuna, which tells you how old it is. Water-pack tuna does become dry. Yours doesn’t seem to, or not much.] Add the capers and stir for another minute or two. Turn off the heat and let stand until the pasta is cooked, then serve over the noodles.