Most of the tuna you find at the grocery store is canned in water, the next time you are in a Mediterranean grocery or specialty market take a look around and see if you can find some tuna which is canned in olive oil. In olive oil is the standard way to can tuna in Italy, and it has a lovely softening effect on the flavour of the fish.
This classic Italian tuna pasta recipe is meant to address a weeknight emergency that can easily be pulled from the depths of your pantry. Don’t skip the chili flakes they brighten up the flavours of what could otherwise be a flat sauce.
Spaghetti al Tonno(serves 4)
Put a large pot of water on to boil. In a separate large skillet add the olive oil, chili flakes, fennel, and garlic to the pan. Turn the pan on to medium low and cook until the garlic is just starting to brown, stirring. Add the tomatoes to the skillet and stir into the garlic and oil. Using a fork or spoon gently crush the tomatoes into the sauce to break out any interior juices.
Let the sauce cook for 15 minutes. The water should be boiling by now so add a heaping tablespoon of salt to the water and add the pasta. Follow the directions for cooking times on the side of the package of pasta, but decrease the cooking time by 2 minutes. Meanwhile remove the tuna from the can and gently chop. When the pasta has been in the water for 5 minutes add the tuna and olive oil to the tomatoes. Stir in the parsley and butter as well.
Drain the pasta. Taste the sauce and add salt if necessary. Add the drained pasta to the skillet and toss. Allow to cook for one more minute. Check the pasta - it should be al dente. Serve garnished with chili flakes.