Linguine with Tuna & Crab Puttanesca
“Linguine Puttanesca” means “whore-like linguine” in Italian. There is some debate as to why exactly this dish got that name, but one of the explanations is its hot, frisky flavor. (Ha!)
Anyway, this dish does have a little bit of a kick, although I think next time I make it I’ll up that kick even more. But it was a healthy dinner with some good flavor, and my family seemed to enjoy it enough to go back for seconds and thirds, and we don’t eat enormous quantities of food.
So! Here’s the recipe: I’ll go ahead and say that the crab meat is optional. I added it in, but it’s not super cheap, and I don’t think you’ll be missing out on a ton if you only go with the tuna. Normally I’m all about fresh seafood only, but the canned tuna tasted just fine in the sauce.
Okay, recipe now. Promise!
- Salt & Pepper
- 12 ounces linguine (I prefer to use whole wheat pasta or at laest the kind that includes a serving of vegetables. Just a bit more nutritious.)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, diced—using roasted garlic from the jar adds a little more flavor too.
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (Adding more next time!)
- 2 tablespoons capers, drained
- 1/3 cup roughly chopped kalamata olives
- 20 oz petite diced tomatoes (more or less—I didn’t use the entire big can)
- Oregano—just pour some in. You’ll notice I don’t always do measurements. Most of these are approximate, and I apologize.
- 1 5-ounce can albacore tuna, packed in olive oil
- 1/4 cup crab claw meat (make sure it’s cooked already, because I’m not going to mention that in the recipe)
Cook pasta until al dente.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until slightly toasted, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the capers and olives and fry 2 more minutes. Crush the tomatoes in a bowl (I used a potato masher) and hold on to the juices (don’t pour in all the excess juice yet). Cook until the tomatoes are slightly dry, about 2 minutes. Add the extra tomato juice, the oregano, and salt to taste (probably 1/2 tbs? Not sure how much I added, I just poured a bit in. But better to be safe and just wait to add more to the individual plate) and cook until the sauce thickens, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tuna with its oil, breaking it up with a fork, and season with salt. Add crab meat, breaking up with a fork as well.
Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water, and return it to the pot. Add the sauce and the reserved cooking water and toss. Season with pepper, and add more salt to taste.
At first bite I wasn’t totally impressed. It was by no means bad but I could taste some of the flavors. However, a little salt goes a long way in bringing out flavor, and a little bit more on the plate really made it great! I’m adding more spices next time because I’m a big fan of spicy, but overall it was a good, healthy meal.