Penne alla Caprese

Penne alla Caprese

Photography by Bill Milne (copyright Sterling Publishing, Inc.)

In Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner?, Lisa Caponigri presented a year’s worth of delicious and authentic Italian menus for the entire family to enjoy. Now she’s back with another 52 dinners, but with a fresh new seasonal approach that reflects the cuisines of Piemonte (winter), Campania (spring), Sicily (summer), and Tuscany (fall).

Throughout, Caponigri showcases Italy’s varied and abundant produce, from summery artichokes, apricots, figs, and the famous San Marzano tomato to hearty roasted meats and rich risottos. The entire book brims with Lisa’s energy, her reminiscences of living in Italy, anecdotes about her family, and all the advice needed to get a spectacular Sunday dinner on the table—every Sunday of the year.

This is Sunday Dinner: 52 Seasonal Italian Menus, is available at and


Penne alla Caprese


1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 (32-ounce can) crushed San Marzano tomatoes

Sicilian sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon, fine

Freshly ground black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon

2 (8-ounce) glass jars of tuna in oil, imported from Italy*

1/2 cup black olives, pitted and halved

1 cup fresh mozzarella, diced

2 pounds penne rigate


  1. In a large frying pan, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and add the tomatoes. Simmer the tomatoes for 15 minutes, or until they have reduced and thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set the pan aside.
  2. In another large frying pan, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and add the tuna. With a fork, flake the tuna in the pan. Add the olives and stir.
  3. Meanwhile, add the mozzarella to the warm tomato sauce in the other frying pan.
  4. Cook the penne, according to the directions on the package, and then drain it. Toss the penne in a large pasta bowl with the tomato sauce. Pour the tuna sauce into the bowl, mix it in thoroughly with the pasta and tomato sauce, and serve.

* Substitute with good-quality canned albacore(not light) tuna, if jarred tuna is not available

Excerpted from This is Sunday Dinner by Lisa Caponigri. Used with permission from Sterling Publishing.

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