Tag Archives: tuna

Calabrese Pasta

Calabrese Pasta
My Salernitano grandmother used to make this for my Calabrese grandfather. I don’t really know if this was something that was common in Calabria or simply a dish that he liked. When my mother made it, she said we were having Calabrese pasta and that’s what I still call it.
I list precise measurments for ingredients but it’s not written in stone. If you like olives, add more. If you don’t like capers, use less. You get the idea.


This is a very quick sauce so put up the pasta water before you start anything else.

Lightly sauté the anchovies, olives, capers and garlic in olive oil.

When the anchovies dissolve and the garlic begins to turn golden, add the tuna, tomatoes, pepper and oregano. Taste for seasoning and let it simmer for no more than 8-10 minutes to keep a fresh taste.

Toss the pasta in the sauce and serve with grated cheese (no cheese if you use the tuna).

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Robert Iulo at Yelp

Pasta with Tuna – Two Ways

Pasta with Tuna – Two Ways

High quality imported tuna packed in olive oil works well with these sauces. Pick a brand that has no additional ingredients. Remember, this is seafood, so please, no cheese.

jar of tuna

Tuna Tomato Sauce

Tuna Tomato Sauce

Put the pasta water up to boil. Sauté the 1st 6 ingredients and then deglaze the pan with wine. Stir and add the tuna and tomatoes and simmer. Don’t overcook. Add the scallions to the sauce and when the pasta is almost done, add it to the sauce to finish cooking.

tuna tomato

Pasta Con Tonno e Piselli

Tuna peas ingredients

Sweat onion in oil. Add peas and 1 cup water, season with S&P. Simmer for 15 min and add 1 jar imported tuna (8oz). Add chopped parsley and serve with small pasta.

tuna and peas

Heading painting – Mattanza by Enzo Di Franco

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Sandwiches Italian-Style

Sandwiches Italian-Style

hoagieSubs, hoagies, grinders – that’s fine but in New York, it’s a hero. Sandwiches Italian-Style doesn’t necessarily mean 8 different kinds of meat and cheese and a bunch of other things, where each flavor cancels out the next. It shouldn’t be that complicated.

For a good Italian-Style sandwich the most important thing is the bread. On the right bread, cream cheese and Welch’s grape jelly can be something special. Then comes basic but high-quality ingredients. After that, the main condiments are simply salt, pepper and maybe a few drops of olive oil. Here are a few standards.

sandwich sausage and peppers

Sausage & Peppers – Fry some bell peppers and an onion. Then fry the sausage in the same pan. Simple


Tuna with Lemon and Onion – Use imported tuna packed in olive oil, add some thinly sliced lemon (with skin) and onion. A little romaine if you like.

ricotta sandwich

Ricotta on a Roll – Scrape some of the bread out of the top of the roll to make room for the ricotta so it doesn’t squeeze out.

sandwich - mozzerella

Mootz & Tomato – Fresh cold mozzarella with sliced tomatoes and basil if you have it.


Escarole – Add  just washed and still wet escarole leaves to a pan where you’ve sautéed some garlic in oil.  Simmer until it wilts. It’s as easy as that.

Note that only one of these sandwiches contains meat, another fish and the last three are vegetarian. That says something about the Mediterranean Diet.

The photo at the top of this page is from Medonia Brothers Bakery on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx.

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Tuna and Lemon Sandwich

Tuna and Lemon Sandwich

Uncle Charlie and me at his summer house on Lake Mombasha in Monroe New York
Uncle Charlie and me at his summer house on Lake Mombasha in Monroe, New York

A tuna and lemon sandwich was one of my Uncle Charlie’s  standard late night snacks.


  • 1 can or jar of imported tuna packed in olive oil
  • 1 fresh lemon
  • 1 small red onion
  • A sprinkle of olive oil (infused with chilies if you have it)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Crunchy seeded Italian bread

tuna sandwich


Drain the tuna and arrange it on the bread.  Add thinly sliced red onion and thinly sliced lemon (include skin). You’ll need a very sharp knife for this.  Sprinkle with plain or chili infused olive oil, salt and black pepper Add some Romaine if you like. This combination really works.

Tuna with Vinegar and Onions

Tuna with Vinegar and Onions

My sister Rochelle

This is an old recipe that Rochelle has kept alive. Our mother used to make it on Christmas Eve.


  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • ½ cup olive oil divided
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 lbs tuna steaks, at least 1 inch thick cut into 2 by 2 inch pieces
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup finely chopped mint


  • Fry onions in ¼ cup of oil on medium heat until soft, translucent and slightly browned, about 20 minutes. Remove onions and add the rest of the oil to the same pan.
  •  Season tuna with salt and pepper and lightly brown on both sides leaving the center rare. Return onions to pan, mix with tuna, increase heat and add the vinegar. Cover and let steam for 3 minutes. Oil, vinegar and liquid from the tuna will create a light sauce.
  •  Place in a serving dish and sprinkle with the mint. This dish can be served hot or cold.  Serves six.
tuna - onions 1
Tuna with Vinegar and Onions