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Spaghetti Al Tonno – Nothing Fishy About This “Meat” Sauce

Spaghetti al tonno is one of my all-time favorite “go to” pasta dishes, and I hope this re-make of an old video helps make it one of yours. I did a very similar spaghetti with spicy tuna sauce for About.com a long time ago, but never got around to doing an official Food Wishes version.


Having said that, there really is no “official” recipe, as this is the type of dish that gets made a little differently every time. Not different on purpose, mind you, but different since that’s what happens when you cook without written recipes, which by the way, is the recommended method. 

I love a classic meat sauce as much as the next half-Italian, but when I want something quick and easy for a weeknight meal, I reach for the tuna. By the time you bring a pot of water to a boil, choose a wine, and cook your pasta, the sauce should be done. What if all that sounds great, but you don’t like fish? Then, this is perfect.

As I say in the video, the taste and texture is really closer to a veal sauce, than one made with fish. Above and beyond the non-fishy flavor, this is also lower in fat and calories, in case you’re into that kind of thing. So, the next time you’re in the mood for a quick spaghetti with “meat” sauce, I hope you give this delicious pasta sauce a try. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 4 Portions Spaghetti Al Tonno:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 anchovy filet
2 tablespoons capers
3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup white wine (Note: if you can’t use wine, don’t. Use a splash of stock)
3 cups crushed San Marzano tomatoes
red pepper flakes, to taste
1/4 tsp dried oregano
salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste
7 ounces oil-packed tuna, drained (reserve and use oil!)
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
12 ounces dry spaghetti
Parmigiano-Reggiano for top

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