Gatherings: Mama Knows Best

Using pantry staples, Chef Rebecca Wilcomb recreates her mother’s original weeknight pasta dish that warms the heart and fills the belly

Rigatoni with Tuna, Olive Oil and Parmesan

INGREDIENTS

1 pound rigatoni pasta
1 can or jar of tuna in olive oil (the better the quality, the better the dish)
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated (plus more for sprinkling on top)
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1 ½ teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoons chili flake (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

1. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add the rigatoni and cook according to the directions on the package.

2. While the pasta boils, place all other ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Drain all but 1 tablespoon of the oil from the tuna.

3. Drain the pasta and reserve a ½ cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the large mixing bowl and stir vigorously until everything is incorporated and the pasta and sauce are creamy. If the pasta seems dry, add a little pasta water as needed.

4. Taste for seasoning, adjust, and divide into serving bowls. Top with parmesan and enjoy. Serves 4


ABOUT THE CHEF

Chef Rebecca Wilcomb draws inspiration for her authentic Italian cooking from her family’s homeland in the Veneto region of northern Italy. Together with chefs and partners Donald Link and Stephen Stryjewski, Chef Wilcomb opened Gianna in the Warehouse District in April 2019. She was previously honored by the James Beard Foundation with a Best Chef: South award.