Spaghetti with Tuna

Spaghetti col Tonno

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Yield:



Appears in


By James Peterson

Published 1991

  • About

This Roman dish is traditionally made with tuna packed in oil, but nowadays in the United States fresh tuna is so widely available that it’s worth making this dish with fresh tuna or, for that matter, any full-flavored, firm-fleshed fresh fish. Avoid overcooking fresh tuna or it will turn very dry.


garlic cloves, finely chopped 2 2
extra-virgin olive oil ½ cup 125 ml
tomatoes, peeled, seeded, coarsely chopped or drained, seeded, and chopped canned tomatoes 3 medium or cups 3 medium or 375 ml
dried spaghetti or other strand pasta or fresh spaghetti or other strand pasta 1 lb or lb 450 g or 675 g
fresh tuna, cut into ½-inch (1 cm) cubes 1 lb 450 g
finely chopped parsley (chopped at the last minute) 1 tbsp 15 ml
finely chopped fresh basil (chopped at the last minute) 2 tbsp 30 ml
salt and pepper to taste to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rapid boil for cooking the pasta.
  2. Sweat the garlic in 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) of the olive oil over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed pot large enough to hold the drained pasta. When the garlic turns translucent and smells aromatic (don’t let it brown), after about 5 minutes, add the tomatoes and the rest of the olive oil. Stew over medium heat, uncovered, until the tomatoes and oil separate, about 15 minutes.
  3. Cook and drain the pasta. Immediately before draining the pasta, add the tuna and herbs to the sauce and stir over medium heat for 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper, add the pasta, and toss.