Pasta Con Tonno E Capperi – Pasta Tuna and Capers

Lipari Islands Capers – Ji-Elle CC BY-SA 3.0


  • Salt
  • 4 ounces bow tie (farfalle), linguini, or spaghetti pasta
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (plus more)
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • Pinch chili pepper flakes
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tuna packed in olive oil, drained
  • 1 Tbsp capers
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 Tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
  • Freshly ground black pepper

How to make the Pasta con tonno e capperi:

Here’s a little secret: olive oil-packed canned tuna, chili pepper flakes, and pasta is a master combination (and classic Italian). I’ve tried it regarding tuna packed in water, and believe me, it doesn’t work (dry, tastes terrible). It would be best if you used tuna packed in olive oil.
1 Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt (1 teaspoon for every quart of water), return to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions until cooked through, but still firm (al dente).
2 While the water is coming to a boil and the pasta is cooking, prepare the recipe’s rest. In a large, wide sauté pan, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat. Add the chopped onion and chili pepper flakes and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes or so—mix in the canned tuna, the capers, and the salt. Add the wine, bring to a simmer, then lower the heat to low. Cook for 10 minutes or longer while the pasta is cooking. If the mixture begins to dry out, add a little more wine.
3 When the pasta is ready, drain it and add it to the pan with the tuna. Toss to mix. Drizzle on a bit more olive oil over it all, then add the chopped parsley and a few grinds of black pepper to taste.
You can easily dress up this recipe with a few more ingredients – chopped garlic added at the end of the onion cooking, diced tomatoes and/or olives in with the tuna, lemon zest to serve, etc.

Serves 2

Enrico Massetti was born in Milan, Italy.
Now he lives in Washington, DC, USA.
Still, he regularly visits his hometown
and enjoys going around all the places in his home country
especially those he can reach by public transportation.

Enrico loves writing guide books on travel in Italy
to help his friends that go to Italy to visit
and enjoy his old home country.
He also publishes books on the Argentine tango dance.

You can reach Enrico at