Saturday, 20 April 2013

Spaghetti o Linguine ai Capperi e Tonno ( Alla San Giovannino) Spaghetti or Linguine in a delicious Tomato, Tuna and Caper Sauce!








She went outside to pick some parsley for her mamma. It was Christmas Eve and everyone was busy chatting, playing games, running about the house, up and down the long black marble corridor. It was always polished, really shiny and you could "ice-skate" on it!







As she ran back indoors, as she always liked to run everywhere (and she still does!) she slipped and landed on the floor. The little stems of fresh parsley were dropped all over the place, so she quickly gathered them and went to wash the sweet smelling herb, under running water, in the kitchen.

The smell of garlic, frying in the pan, and the sound of the tuna, being "dropped" very skilfully in the pan,by her mother, were mingled with a sense of happiness. We were all together, under the same roof. All our windows were steamed up and we felt cosy, and happy. It must have been Christmas Eve, I think...


 I must have somehow been able to capture that sense of feeling happy, protected and loved. I must have locked it away in here... in my heart, or in my soul. It's in me and I can feel it. How I wish we could still, all of us, be together. There is still so much we didn't say... so much we didn't do... the rest is all here... with me... I love to open a window on my childhood. I know that Proust said it before me, but... smells... fragrances are the key to the past.


And I want to go back, through the smell of this dish to an "Eve"... Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve, The Eve of Saint John's Day, in June, when you might quite likely, in Puglia, eat this simple dish, which is absolutely delicious!


Spaghetti "Ai Capperi e Tonno" alla San Giovannino. This dish, as promised in my previous post is very easy to make and, like all good Italian dishes, only uses a few ingredients. Though might be eaten on special occasions (the Eve of a celebration) also forms part of what we call "cibo quotidiano" EVERYDAY FOOD!"

Spaghetti ai Capperi e Tonno
(Alla San Giovannino)
                                                                                                                
(Spaghetti with Tomato, Tuna and Caper Sauce)

Ingredients
(serves 2-3)


 olive oil (cover the base of your pan with it!)
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 large tin of best tuna chunks
in brine, or olive oil
300g (10 oz) cherry or fresh plum tomatoes, chopped
or:
1 small tin plum tomatoes
1 tbsp capers in vinegar
generous bunch of fresh parsley
salt
freshly milled black pepper
300-400g (about 1 lb, or just under) spaghetti
(or linguine)


You can cook this in a saucepan, or a frying pan or wok. Put the olive oil in the pan you are using, wait until it gets piping hot, then add the garlic. Don't let it burn, as it will taste bitter if it does. Stir, then add your tuna (if you are using tuna in brine, remove all the liquid, first.)







Quickly add your tuna, stir, then half cover with a lid, as the tuna will splatter all over the place! true! Give it a couple of minutes, enough time for the flavours to blend, then add your tomatoes (fresh or tinned- squash your tinned tomatoes up before cooking, if you want a good sauce!) some salt, and black pepper and bring to the boil.


You can now turn the heat down and cook your sauce for 20-25 minutes. By now, your kitchen should be filled with a wonderful aroma: garlic and tuna are fantastic, together.




 




Towards the end of cooking time, add your capers (I use lots, as I love the vinegary flavour!) and, before serving, take half of your parsley, roughly chop and add to the sauce, which, I assure you, is going to be magnificent!
Cook your spaghetti or linguine, drain and serve with the sauce. Top each serving with extra parsley and black pepper. And now I feel hungry!








D E L I Z I O S O!!!!!




45 comments:

  1. Dear Anna,

    I know what will be eating one of the coming evenings :-) Your past looks really good and doesn't take that long to make. Perfect after a long days work.

    Isn't it beautiful to have such precious memories. Even after all those years they have the ability to make you happy!

    Enjoy your weekend!

    Madelief x

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  2. Hello!

    Well... I promised a series of quick and easy recipes and this is the first of them. Please try it, because it's truly delicious! Just remember that if you use tinned tomatoes, just like fresh, they need to cook!

    Madelief... one of the reasons why I love writing for my blog is that it makes me stop and remember my years in Italy, when I was growing up. My sister and I often spend time talking about our family and how happy we were. I just wish we had known then...

    Thank you for a lovely comment!

    ANNA
    xxx

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  3. My dear Anna , I can see the little girl to falling to the floor !You have so many memories from your childhood and your lovely mother ! This recipe looks delicious ,it is nine o'clock at night and just I saw your plate I am thinking if it is right to do just now .....My memories of one time.... my mother sent us ( me and my brother )to the public oven to get the pan with the stuffed peppers. I put to my brother tripping up, turned upside down the pan ,the peppers on the road and then he collected the peppers by the way .....
    When we arrived at home , my brother told the truth and my mother beat me , ( that was the way to punish ) and she left me hungry ... Now we remember that and we are laughing .Until now she says that I was an "elfish " girl .....

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  4. That's really funny, Olympia! You know, I have stuffed peppers in the fridge, as I speak.
    I'm glad my post reminded you of an episode from your childhood. You shouldn't have tripped your brother up, Olympia! Not only you were punished, but you also had to go to bed without dinner!

    I could eat a plate of this dish right now (only takes ten minutes to prepare-I will post a series of quick to prepare meals)but I will just have a little drink of my home made limoncello, instead!

    Thank you for your lovely comment, my dear friend!

    Good night!

    ANNA :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I read all the sweet comments of girls and I see that we are a sweeeeeeet company !

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  5. Carissima Anna! What a wonderful recipe! I cook it sometimes and I know it tastes marvelous! To me it is summer, lightness, warmth, happiness and it brings back memories of many great days in Italy! The tuna one needs for this dish is only available in Italy! And linguine! My whole family only wants linquine! We all love spaghetti but linguine are our favorite! I can feel in your words how much you are tied to Puglia! How sad you must have been as a little girl to leave it all behind and move to very different GB! (I love it there too, though!). I am so happy for you that you have found a house in Italy now - it will enable you to live your dreams! Ti saluto con affetto! Christa and naturalmente BMH&B - you are just fantastic!

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    1. Hello, my dear Christa! It's such a pleasure to have you back here!

      Yes, this is a good recipe, but, really, you only need a tin of good tuna chunks or steak, preserved in oil, or brine, to make this, which you should be able to find in any supermarket.

      I have missed you so much and all our "chats"... you are a wonderful lady, Christa!

      As you know, we all have roots and mine are there, though I have lived longer in Uk, than Italy. I will always have a home here, too, and will spend time here, in Winter, as Italy is just too beautiful in Spring and Summer, but... no snow in Winter, in my native Puglia!

      Well... I'm glad you are back, so... BMH&B to you, too!

      Goodnight with love

      ANNA
      x

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  6. Anna, this is a wonderful post, beautiful photos and such a lovely story. I'm going to cook this exactly as you wrote the recipe, although I'm part Italian myself and have been cooking Italian all my life. I love my heritage, I love Italy, and I love your blog. Thank you so much!

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    1. Hello Marsha, and welcome to my blog. please try this recipe, as it's really delicious and typical of the part of Italy where I was born.

      Italian blood is very thick, Marsha, so, though you are "part Italian" as you say, you still have a lot of Italian blood!

      Thank you for loving Italy as much as you do, and thank you for respecting our heritage. I feel this is very important, just like you do. It's good to know who you are and where you came from!

      Keep cooking Italian, loving Italy and loving my blog! And... come back, please!

      Buona notte...

      ANNA x

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    2. Just realized you are Spolenderosa, aren't you?

      CIAO!

      ANNA

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  7. Replies
    1. Prego, Christa!xxxxxxxxxxxANNA

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  8. Dear Anna - a great supper dish especially when you have been out all day and want something quick but tasty. I make something very similar but with sun-dried black olives - I will give the capers a try.
    Lovely memories again of your dear mother, and the nostalgic feelings and smells of Christmas Eve in your childhood home.
    Ciao♥

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    1. Rosemary... I love sundried black olives! They are my favourites!

      This dish does need capers, in vinegar, so it tastes authentic. I put lots of capers in mine and wouldn't eat it without! So, give it a try! The secret is, with all Italian sauces, to make a base of really piping hot olive oil and garlic, or onion, depending on the sauce. If you don't do this, you just don't get the flavour!

      Also, tomatoes and tinned toamtoes, need to be cooked , not just warmed up. Tinned tomatoes are just peeled and canned. They are raw!

      I am pointing this out, as I once gave an English friend this recipe and, unfortunately, she cooked it for me. She had just thrown all the ingredients in a pot, warmed it through and then served it with pasta bows and... wait for the surprise... grated Cheddar cheese, to top up the culinary "masterpiece!"

      Though I can be brave, on this occasion I told my friend that I really couldn't eat her lunch, but that I was kind of glad she had tried, so I could give her some constructive criticism!

      Rosemary, when I get ready to prepare food for my blog, all these lovely memories come to the surfice and I get very nostalgic, as I miss that kind of love. All the years I have spent in this Country, England, which I really love, I have felt a lack of love. That kind of love which you can only get from people who know and love you, "warts and all" as they say. And I'm not perfect, I know!

      End of another lecture! Sorry, Rosemary!

      HAPPY SUNDAY! Lovely day, today. I'm off to Blickling Hall! It's only down the road from my home. They make the bast cream tea in the reastaurant, but, unfortunately, I'm on a diet! Clotted cream... I LOVE YOU!

      XXX

      ANNA

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  9. Another lovely memory of your mama.. I love reading them Anna.
    I make tuna with spagetti or fetuccini.. its been a dish in hour house for years.
    We all love it. with a big salad. I dont use capers. I should give it a try.
    How true that smells bring back memories. For me its perfume.
    lovely post Anna.
    great photos.
    hugs val.xx

    I hope that you can get me this time.. i dont have the reply. Thanks for your comments. ciao.

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    1. You are right, Val... it is perfume. That's why I often describe it as "fragrance"... it brings back places, events, celebrations... it brings people back, who have left, but are still part of our daily experience.

      Val... my parents are so alive, inside me. I remember coming home, in the evenings, when I was 18, and resting my head on my mum's lap, just like I used to do when I was little. My mum would stroke my hair with so much, I can still that that touch. And I see us, in the living room: my dad is watching television and my mum and I are on the sofa, together, sharing that moment together.

      Being able to open that "book" every now and then, brings me so much joy, so much happiness and I think that, after all, it is true that you live after your death. My mum and dad are still with me and they keep me warm when life get hard.

      Val, I still don't get your posts, but I can find them. I will check each day, don't worry, dear Val!

      HAPPY SUNDAY!

      XXANNAXX

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  10. Hi Anna my new friend!
    My name is Effie and come from Greece.
    Your post is wonderful and I am very happy to meet you!!!!
    Have a nice week, kisses!!!!!!!

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  11. Hello, "new friend" Effie! I'm so glad you "found" me! Please, feel free to comment, any time you wish to! As you can see, I love communicating with all my lovely blog friends!

    Wonderful to meet you, too, Effie!

    Welcome!

    BIG HUGS

    ANNA

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  12. Dear Anna,
    I always like to read your wonderful childhood memories!!!

    ... and of course your recipes!
    :-)

    Have a lovely spring!
    ♥ Franka

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  13. Hello Franka! Thank you so much! I am always kind of surprised when people say they enjoy reading what I write and... it's a lovely feeling, as I know I am sharing the best part of me!

    THANK YOU FRANKA!

    XXX

    ANNA

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  14. Dear Anna,very beautiful memories from Italy and your mum!What a wonderful recipe!!I love cooking Linguine and i always put in my salads capers!!I'll try to make this recipe!!My habby loves tuna fish with spaggeti!!Thank you for sharing!!Hope you have a lovely week!!Hugs!!(thank you for your comment!!)
    Dimi..

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  15. Hi Dimi! I am pleased someone else likes capers! Most non Italian people don't seem very keen on them!
    I hope you try this recipe, as it is really easy and so... so good!

    You can make it with spaghetti or linguine. It's good with both!

    CIAO!

    ANNA

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  16. Ciao Anna !
    Per dire la verità , gradisco le storie con tua madre più che le ricette ! Sto scherzando ! Però, questi ricordi sono così teneri ed emozionanti e mi trasferiscono alla mia propria infanzia , al tempo dove mia madre era attiva e faceva tutto da sola... La ricetta col tonno mi sembra di aver gustata in Italia , comunque deve essere buonissima nella sua semplicità .
    Ti auguro una felice settimana, e stai bene !
    Olimpia

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  17. Ciao Olympia! Guarda che è un complimento, perchè in Italia tutti sono chef, ma non tutti sono scrittori. Io amo tanto scrivere, e poi la mia vita in Italia mi ispira, con tanti ricordi e con quel velo di nostalgia che rende tutto rosa e felice! Ma eravamo veramente felici!
    Quindi... grazie!
    Riguardo la ricetta, è semplice, ma per questo buona: pochi ingredienti, la conoscenza dell'aspetto tecnico di come preparare le basi di un sugo, e sei lì. Ti dirò, comunque, che senza le basi della cucina classica, si può anche sbagliare una ricetta semplice come questa.
    IL TUO ITALIANO E' FANTASTICO! BRAVISSIMA!

    ABBRACCI

    ANNA

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  18. Ciao carissima,adoro questo piatto e d'estate qui si usa molto spesso,veloce e buonissimo!!
    Un bacione cara e buona giornata!!
    Sabry!!

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    1. Ciao Sabry! oggi c'è un sole magnifico! E' vero, questo piatto è veloce, magnifico e un esempio della nostra creatività: guarda che meraviglia sappiamo creare con tre o quattro ingredienti. Viva noi, terra di chef!

      CIAO, MIA CARA!

      ANNA

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  19. Looks delicious, Anna. You have parsley in your garden! Is it easy to grow? I usually set seeds of basil at this time of year, but I want to try parsley, either:) Have a lovely weekend!

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  20. Hello! Yes, parsley is easy to grow. It's very hardy and even resists snow and ice! We use parsley in a number of dishes, in Italy. With celery, it's the only herb you will always find inside an Italian fridge! It's an essential item!

    Thank you for commenting!

    XX

    ANNA

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  21. Hello Anna,
    the tuna pasta looks delicious. I love it when you talk about your childhood, it is very vivid and I can just picture your mamma running about, preparing the food..it's just lovely.
    Many thanks for your lovely words, you are very kind. I am really enjoying myself at the moment. I will let you have pictures soon. Of course the ITALIAN paint was fantastico!
    Have a wonderful week. I hope all your plans are moving in the right direction too. Lots of love, Linda xx

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    1. Good Morning! I just saw this lovely comment.Thank you... and yes, everything is moving in the right direction. Next, we have to send some stuff to Italy, so it arrives when we do.So much going on!

      I feel so happy when I get comments about my writing, as it means a lot to me. My mum would smile if she could see my blog and read my stories.I wonder how she saw it, from her point of view!

      Thank you again... you are always so kind.

      The sun is shining today, so I think I will go outside. My enormous camellia is finally in bloom!

      CIAO!

      ANNA

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  22. Bela receita...Espectacular....
    Cumprimentos

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    1. Molte grazie, Fernando! Sei molto gentile!

      THANK YOU!

      ANNA

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  23. Delizioso.I'll surely try this recipe as I love pasta.

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    1. Yes, it is delizioso, because of its semplicity and balance of flavours. It is important to follow step by step instructions, to make sure you have a good base for the ingredients. No proper base equals NO FLAVOUR!

      Another delicious pasta recipe to follow, very, very soon. Watch this space!

      CIAO!

      ANNA

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  24. Oh, how I too persevere for that day when I hear, IT IS FINISHED. Found your page through Val's page. As soon as I read Italy, I ran over. It is my dream to one day live there. Love everything about it, especially the food. ;)
    I agree that we see so much through a camera lens that sometimes we could miss otherwise. I have learned this even more so through blogging. So nice that you dedicated the page to your mother's memory. Beautiful.
    I look forward to visiting, Anna.
    Ciao bella! ;)

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    1. Ciao Marcia, and welcome to my blog! I love have new followers, especially when, like you, they comment. There would be no blog, without lovely comments!

      I love the fact that you love Italy, as it is a wonderful, beautiful country blessed with so much beauty, art and lovely people and... the food is to die for!

      I have learnt a lot through blogging, too, and I have met some lovely friends, too! I love the fact that we are all nice to each other. If only it were like this in our daily lives!

      I hope you keep following and also reading my little memories. Those are "photographs" I took with my heart!

      CIAO!

      ANNA

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  25. Anna, what brand of pasta do you use?

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    1. Marcia,

      For a start, I only ever use pasta MADE IN ITALY, as it's made using durum wheat and the quality is outstanding, no matter which brand you use. I like De Cecco, Barilla and, in Puglia, Divella is fantastic. Buy made in Italy for pasta which stays "al dente!"

      CIAO

      Anna x

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  26. Dear Anna,
    Sorry to be late visiting!
    I love this dish, it's exactly the sort of meal that I cook, although I wouldn't have thought to add the capers- they must make all the difference.The English can be too conservative!
    As you say, scents are so important. My children say that the smell of lavender oil reminds them of me and home, as I used to sprinkle lavender water on their pillows when they couldn't sleep.
    Have a very happy bank holiday weekend, Jane xxx

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    Replies
    1. That sounds lovely, Jane... lavender on their pillows! I think lavender oil is supposed to be soothing. My mum used to buy big bunches of dried chamomille, each one tied into a little bundle. In the evening, in <Winter, she would make us tea with it (the whole bundle, in boiling water!) To me, it smelled and tasted like heaven. It's one of the aromas of my childhood. I also remember eating apples, poached in water and sugar. The juice smelled so sweet... like heaven!

      PS: I use capers quite a lot, but they have to be preserved in vinegar, because they add flavour to a number of dishes we make in Italy (very good with peppers!)

      HAPPY WEEKEND! I'm watching CDWM, but... no sign of bean filled peppers... with cheese!

      CIAO!

      ANNA xxx

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  27. Hello lovely Anna,
    your comments to me were so lovely, thank you. I just cannot wait to see this house in Italy, I can just picture it.....you in your off the shoulder blouse, hair gently blowing in the wind, setting the table for an alfresco dinner, the scent of frangipanni in the air, the mandolins playing softly in the background. Oh get me a plane ticket quick!
    Seriously though, I am glad that all is going well. I am sure that you cannot wait either. Much love to you, Linda xx

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  28. Hello!

    Yes, I am excited, though there is a lot to still sort out. I think in a week or so, we will be gone. I'll say yes to everything you have pointed out... mandolins... I've never see one, though I love the sound!

    I will be posting photos... lots of them, as the house takes shape. We have furniture, paintings, etc. arriving fro UK and USA... the last lot hopefully leaving this Saturday.

    My husband is the lucky one! I intend to only feed him wonderful, healthy food: lots of vegetables (some of these you can only get in Italy! This is exciting to me!)pulses, fish... so good! And I can't wait to sit at our favourite caffè, with our copy of "La Repubblica" having breakfast in the sun!

    PS: We have a wedding on June 8th, in the Orthodox Church, as the bride is not Catholic. I'll be a witness, my goodness me! I hope I don't fall off my heels, on the altar!

    BIG LOVE!

    ANNA
    xx

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  29. Dear Anna, your posts and the comments and your responses always make me smile and feel life is good! This recipe looks so delicious and I know my vegetarian daughter will love it - i have made similar dishes but I know your recipe will stand out above the rest!
    Loved reading Linda's comment about your new home and the enthusiasm and excitement of your reply!Hope it's all going well, and I too look forward to hearing and seeing more of your new home!
    Gill xx

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    1. You are so kind, Gilly! I am yet to come across someone, on Blogger who isn't nice!
      Thank you very much for your very kind words. I am touched by your kindness. And I feel happy to know that, in my own little way, I can make people smile.

      Thank you!

      With lots of love...

      ANNA
      xxx

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