Red Sauce Fridays: #2. Tomato and tuna sauce

P1020942The origin of this recipe in my life is not a total mystery, but what to call it, is.

I seem to remember borrowing an Italian cookbook from a friend when I lived in Rome. I found this recipe, which, like nearly anything containing canned tuna, sounded not great to me—but my husband (at the time, my boyfriend) claimed he had eaten something like it and that it was delicious. I could have sworn it was referred to as pasta alla carrettiera, or pasta in the style of the cart driver, but many versions of carrettiera abound which have neither tomato nor tuna. Perhaps due to the whimsy of the cart driver—or at least to the whimsy of the pantry of the cart driver.

In any case, now I love it. It is one of those recipes where you can start with seemingly nothing in the house, and end up with a good square meal. Though fresh parsley is a requisite, everything else should already be in your pantry.

Cover the bottom of a large skillet in olive oil and gently sauté a few garlic cloves and some chile flakes. Add either one large can of whole peeled tomatoes, and crush them with a potato masher (use scissors to cut any firm pieces into smaller bits), or add one quart of your homemade tomato puree. Simmer a while. When your spaghetti is nearing al dente, add 2 cans of tuna, drained of their liquid (the nice kind, in olive oil, works great here, but regular old Chicken of the Sea is just fine), to the sauce, and stir to combine. Drain the pasta and toss with just enough sauce to keep the strands loose, then dollop a little additional sauce to individual bowls and garnish with freshly-chopped parsley.

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2 thoughts on “Red Sauce Fridays: #2. Tomato and tuna sauce

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