Gemelli with Tuna, Raisins, Pine Nuts & Capers

tuna steak mint

Frozen tuna and a can of Italian tuna in olive oil cost about the the same amount. Seems bizarre, but there it is. The frozen tuna is probably much healthier than the canned tuna as well. Then again I have no idea what ocean it was fished from, which I’m not crazy about, but if I bought it fresh at the grocery store, I wouldn’t know that either. In this kingdom of shrimp, I haven’t found local shrimp, it was all farmed in Thailand or Indonesia. I need to go check out those fish markets.


I have made similar recipes like this one in the past. This is an interpretation of a Sicilian pasta with fish, raisins, pine nuts, capers and toasted bread crumbs. It is one of those dishes where you don’t really need to go to the grocery store, I usually have all of the ingredients in my pantry, senza the frozen tuna. It is easy to throw together and is always delicious.

One of the problems that I have run into with these terrible coils that they call burners in this part of the country, is that when you are tossing the pasta in the sauce it dries out far too quickly. One of the solutions that I have come up with, and it works brilliantly, is to add about a cup of water from the pasta pot to the sauce before you drain the pasta, turn the heat up to a medium-high heat and it shouldn’t dry out.

tuna, raisins, pine nuts and capers

Gemelli with Tuna, Raisins, Pine Nuts & Capers

  • 1 frozen tuna steak (It would be a shame to use a fresh tuna steak, you could also use good canned Italian or Spanish tuna in olive oil)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2  cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
  • 1 tbsp salted capers, rinsed (you can also use pickled capers)
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • toasted bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 lb of gemelli pasta
  • salt for pasta water

Defrost tuna steak and cut into small cubes, this will make it easier to break the tuna up into flakes when it is cooking. Fill a large pot with water for the pasta. Bring to a boil over high heat.

Heat oil in a wide saucepan over medium-high heat and add the whole cloves of garlic. When garlic starts to sizzle add the tuna cubes. Sauté the tuna over high heat for a minute and lower heat to medium. Add the cup of white wine with the capers, raisins and the pine nuts and bring sauce to a boil, lower the heat and let simmer until the pasta is cooked. (If you are using canned tuna, wait until the pasta water is boiling to add the tuna).

Once the water starts to boil for the pasta add a small handful of salt to the water and bring to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente.

When the pasta is perfectly al dente, add a cup of the pasta water to the sauce, turn up the heat and drain the pasta. Without shaking all of the water out of the colander pour the pasta into the pan and toss it with the sauce. This allows for the pasta to cook a little longer in the sauce and to absorb the flavor.

Take the pan off of the heat and toss with the toasted bread crumbs and chopped mint. Serve immediately.

gemelli with tuna, raisins, pine nuts and capers topped with toasted bread crumbs

~ by italicious on February 26, 2009.

One Response to “Gemelli with Tuna, Raisins, Pine Nuts & Capers”

  1. I was staring at my pantry with s large frozen tuna steak in one hand and a package of fresh butternut squash ravioli in the other, when my eyes landed on a box of raisins. I could do something Sicilian! I thought. I checked the internet for further inspiration and the first recipe that I found was this one. Pine nuts? Check. Fresh mint? check. Capers? check. Garlic, wine, e.v. olive oil? Of course! Bread crumbs? I’ll make some. I’m off! Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: