Spaghetti With Tuna For Christmas Eve

(Spaghetti con il tonno della Vigilia di Natale)


  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup extra virgin oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, lightly smashed
  • 1/2 cup finely minced yellow onions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 (7 ounce) can white tuna packed in olive oil, drained and minced
  • 2 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Water
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 1 pound imported dried spaghetti

To make sauce, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring until golden brown on all sides. Discard garlic. Add onions and cook, stirring from time to time, until lightly golden and soft, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in parsley and tuna; cook for 1 or 2 minutes.

Put tomatoes through food mill or sieve and discard seeds. Add pulp to skillet and season with salt and a generous amount of pepper. Bring to gentle simmer. As soon as sauce comes to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally until sauce has a medium-thick consistency, 12 to 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning; turn off heat. The sauce can be prepared up to a day ahead. Reheat gently before using.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add coarse salt and spaghetti and cook until pasta is tender but still a bit firm to the bite. Drain and turn into skillet with sauce. Mix over medium heat until pasta and sauce are well combined. Taste; adjust seasonings and serve.

Serves 4 to 6

Adapted from Biba’s Taste of Italy. 2001. Biba Caggiano, William Morrow Publishing