Traditionally “Puttanesca”  is made with capers, anchovies, olives and tomatoes but the addition of tinned tuna, a pinch of cinnamon and a fresh squeeze of lemon takes this already dazzling dish to new heights.  A cheap, cheerful addition to the midweek repertoire and with the addition of garlic bread and a crisp green salad, a not too shabby meal to be shared with friends either!

Prep:  20 mins           Cooking time:   30 mins               $   Low Budget

Serves 4

Extra virgin olive oil

500gm packet of Penne Rigate

185gm tin of tuna in olive oil (Sirena brand is best!)

6 anchovy fillets

3 cloves of garlic

1 tsp of dried chilli flakes

1 tsp of dried oregano

1 brown onion, diced

Grated zest of 1 lemon

2 tbs of baby capers

1 cup of kalamata olives (pitted if preferred)

juice of 1 lemon

1/4 tsp of cinnamon

1/2 cup of dry white wine

400gm tin of diced tomatoes

1 tbs of tomato paste

A handful of continental parsley leaves, finely chopped

1/2 tsp of sugar

Sea salt and pepper

Freshly grated parmesan to serve

Cook the pasta according to packet instructions.

Heat a large frypan and drain the olive oil from the tin of tuna into the pan and add the onion, garlic, oregano, cinnamon and chilli flakes.  Add a little more olive oil if the pan looks a bit dry.  Lightly fry until the onion is soft before popping in the anchovies, capers, lemon zest and tuna.  Stir to combine and allow the mixture to fry gently until the anchovies have dissolved, approximately 3-5 minutes.

Pour in the lemon juice and wine and allow to reduce slightly before adding the tomatoes and tomato paste.  Season lightly with salt and a bit more generously with pepper and add the sugar and olives.  Stir well to combine, reduce to a simmer and allow the mixture to bubble away for 10 or so minutes, stirring occasionally.  If need be, spoon a little pasta water into the pan.  You want the sauce to be fairly light and not too watery but a little of the starchy water will help the sauce to rehydrate but at the same time not thin it out too much.

Drain the pasta and stir the chopped parsley through the sauce.  Toss the penne through the sauce, making sure every little tube is covered.  Divide among four serving bowls  and top with  grated fresh parmesan and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil…….tuck in!