This is my idea of a pefect weeknight meal. Yes, it's quick and easy and requires very little shopping, but, more importantly, it packs a flavor punch reminiscent of a sunny lunch in Capri. The cream is not traditional, but I love the way it melds the acid of the lemon and capers, the perfume of the Italian oregano, the garlic, and the salty tuna. —Kitchen Workshop
2 to 3
extra-virgin olive oil
large clove garlic, minced
reduced-salt chicken stock (top-up with water to 2 cups if using 14.5 oz can)
minced fresh Italian oregano or marjoram
large lemon, zested and juiced
(2 1/2 cups) dried pasta shells, orecchiette, or thin spaghetti
6-7 ounce can of imported tuna in olive oil, drained of excess oil and broken into chunks
For the pasta, bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil.
For the sauce, warm the olive oil in a large saute or chef's pan. Add the garlic and cook over medium-low heat until it is soft - do not brown. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add half of the oregano, the lemon zest, and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice, and cook until the broth has reduced by one-fourth, leaving about 1 1/2 cups of sauce. Reduce the heat to low.
Add a tablespoon of salt to the pot of boiling water, and stir in the pasta.
While the pasta is cooking, stir the capers, tuna and cream into the sauce and warm through. Taste, and then add several grinds of pepper, more lemon juice and salt as needed (careful...it probably will not need salt).
Remove 1 cup of pasta cooking water and set aside. When the pasta is almost al dente, drain it quickly and add to the sauce. Stir and cook with sauce over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes, adding reserved pasta cooking water as needed (the sauce should be soupy - I usually add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water).
Add remaining half of oregano, toss, and serve on warm plates with lemon wedges, crusty bread, and a large soup spoon.