The Unfinished Manuscript – Pasta al Tonno

The Unfinished Manuscript – Pasta al Tonno


Once again, we’re doing our part of The Unfinished Manuscript. Previously, we did a Focaccia, and this makes a fine accompaniment to it, or works well on it’s own as a one dish dinner, or a fish course for a much larger meal.

As before, the author’s recipe just didn’t wow me. Not that there was something wrong with it, it was just rather pedestrian. So we’ve amped up the flavors a bit and gone head first into fishy pasta world.

I think every culture has some sort of noodle-y, fishy comfort food dish, and this one is of Sicilian origin. Think of it as laborers food… dressed up a bit. It’s quick, easy, and thoroughly satisfying.

This is my last recipe with THE BOOK, it’s going on the road this weekend. From here, it’s going to travel to Washington State and into the able hands of Sprung At Last. Pop on over there and give her some love, and a look. (Her posts about her dating disasters with are just too funny.)

Pasta al Tonno

Pasta al Tonno 6

Pasta al Tonno

You’ll Need:

1 Cup of Cut Pasta
– or –
enough of your favorite type for 2 servings

1/2 Cup Finely Chopped Onion

1 (6 ounce) Can Tinned Tuna in Olive Oil
It’s important to note – only use tuna packed in olive oil. Tinned tuna that is packed in water has absolutely no flavor, and you really, really want fishy flavor for this recipe. If you are dead set against using tuna packed in oil, then add an additional 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the list of ingredients.

1 (2 ounce) Can Anchovies packed in Olive Oil

1 Clove Garlic – Minced

1/2 Cup Parsley – Finely Chopped

1 Tablespoon Capers – Drained
1 Can Roasted Tomatoes – Diced and Drained.
If you are going the fresh roasted route, you will need 3 medium tomatoes
roasted, seeded, and diced

Zest from 1 Lemon

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

1 +/- Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes

Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
The recipe from the manuscript was originally written as penne. And, while penne is good – I just don’t care for the chewiness and thickness of that particular shape. Like you already know, I like my noodles more on the floppy side. Instead, I’ve used Mostaccioli- a smooth, thin-walled, type of penne that gets deliciously floppy in the sauce.

Pasta al Tonno 2

While the pasta is cooking, drain and reserve the oil from both the tuna and the anchovies. Add that oil to a skillet and bring to medium heat.
Add the onions, anchovies, and garlic to the hot oil and cook until translucent. Once the anchovies have dissolved in the oil and the onions are nicely colored, add the tuna, capers, parsley and black pepper.
Fold and stir until the tuna breaks down a bit (about 3 minutes)

Pasta al Tonno 4
Add the tomatoes and lemon zest and bring back up to heat until it bubbles (about another 3 to 4 minutes)
Drain the pasta and reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Add the retained water to the sauce along with the drained Mostaccioli.
Remove from the heat, give it a good stir and turn into a serving dish.
Top with red pepper flakes and serve it up with some of that focaccia you just made.

Focaccia 5

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