Spaghetti with Tuna, Anchovies, and Capers

Serves: 6Hands-on: 20 minutesTotal: 40 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 6


  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1⁄2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 can (16 oz.) Italian plum tomatoes, drained
  • 3 Tbsp. capers, drained
  • 12 anchovy fillets, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, at room temperature
  • 1 can (6 1⁄2 oz.) water-packed chunk light tuna
  • 1 lb. spaghetti
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped basil


  • In a large, deep skillet heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté briefly. Add the tomatoes, breaking them up with a wooden spoon, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
  • Place the anchovies in a small bowl and mash them with a spoon. Add the butter and work it into the anchovies. Reserve. Break up the tuna into small pieces; reserve.
  • In a large pot, bring at least 4 quarts water to a rolling boil. Add salt. Add the pasta, stir to separate, and cook until al dente. Remove 1⁄2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain.
  • Stir a bit of the cooking water into the anchovy butter until it is thick and smooth but no longer a paste. Add to the skillet holding the tomatoes and stir to blend. Add the tuna and capers, return to the heat, and reheat to serving temperature.
  • Add the pasta to the sauce in the skillet and toss until coated. Transfer to a warm serving bowl and sprinkle with the basil.