I hereby declare tuna casserole to be the grossest, most disgusting food on the planet. You can imagine my horror, therefore, that it might be taken to a family’s home after they have suffered a tragic loss. In this situation, it can only be intended to serve one purpose: Distraction. “I am sorry for your loss, and now please focus on this, the grossest, most disgusting food on the planet.” But believe me folks, this is no comfort food.
But fear not, Tunaphiles, because Spaghetti con Tonno is a fish of a different color entirely. No. This ain’t your grandma’s tuna (unless she’s from Messina). Put simply, this tuna fish dish is delish. For sure, it is certain to distract, but only in the most positive of ways. It’s enough to cheer up the saddest of people. It’s enough to enliven even the deadest of spirits. It’s enough to make you like your neighbors … even enough to allow you to enjoy a school function.
Like most pasta dishes, it is prepared differently all over Italy, and then differently in every home. Some people add anchovies, others capers or black olives. Some use fresh tuna, others canned, with or without oil. Many people add tomatoes or tomato paste, while others make a white version. Some add parsley, others oregano, and still others add breadcrumbs. I always believe simpler is better, so I follow the more traditional southern Italian approach. I would probably add a bit of peperoncino (hot red pepper), but my family votes against it.
In a large skillet, saute the onion until golden. Puree the tomatoes and add to the onion, with the salt and pepper and cook for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, drain and separate the tuna with a fork. Add it to the tomatoes with the parsley and cook for an additional 15 minutes. Cook the pasta until just before al dente, drain and add to the tuna sauce. Cook together for 1 minute and serve immediately.
Ed Garrubbo, Editor