Spaghetti al tonno is one of my all-time favorite go-to pasta dishes. I love a classic meat sauce as much as the next half-Italian, but when I want something quick and easy for a weeknight meal, I reach for the tuna. What if you don't like fish? Then this is perfect. The taste and texture is really closer to a veal sauce than one made with fish.

Recipe Summary

prep:
20 mins
cook:
35 mins
total:
55 mins
Servings:
4
Yield:
4 servings
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Ingredients

4
Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir anchovy and capers in hot oil until anchovy crumbles, about 2 minutes. Add garlic; cook and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.

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  • Pour white wine, oregano, and red pepper flakes into the skillet and increase heat to high; cook until mixture reduces and about 3 tablespoons of liquid remain, 2 to 4 minutes.

  • Stir tomatoes into the skillet and bring to a simmer. Season tomato mixture with salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until slightly reduced, about 10 minutes.

  • Stir tuna and 1/4 cup parsley into tomato sauce, breaking up tuna with a wooden spoon while stirring. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 10 minutes.

  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until almost cooked through and still slightly firm to the bite, 9 to 11 minutes. Drain and transfer spaghetti back to the pot.

  • Pour tomato sauce over spaghetti into the pot; stir to combine, cover the pot with a lid, and let sit until spaghetti is cooked through, about 3 minutes. Ladle spaghetti into bowls, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, and sprinkle Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and parsley over the top.

Nutrition Facts

620 calories; protein 31.2g 63% DV; carbohydrates 79.5g 26% DV; fat 17.7g 27% DV; cholesterol 14.2mg 5% DV; sodium 706.5mg 28% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (49)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
04/13/2014
I've made this recipe a few times and it is awesome! The last time, I used fresh yellow fin tuna in place of the canned tuna. I cheated by not making the sauce of this recipe the last time by using Chef John's "Hide The Little Fish" pasta/pizza sauce that I had leftover in the fridge and it was great! I prefer using imported pasta from Italy because it is pressed through bronze extruding equipment that gives the pasta more texture and that makes any sauce stick to it a little more. Another tip: ~ 1 teaspoon of anchovy paste equals 1 anchovy filet. I keep a tube of anchovy paste in my fridge for sauce recipes like this or for my Caesar salad dressing recipe. Read More
(26)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 2 stars
07/11/2015
Won't make this one again. I like tuna and i like marinara but i did not like them together Read More
(3)
68 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 44
  • 4 star values: 11
  • 3 star values: 6
  • 2 star values: 3
  • 1 star values: 4
Rating: 5 stars
04/13/2014
I've made this recipe a few times and it is awesome! The last time, I used fresh yellow fin tuna in place of the canned tuna. I cheated by not making the sauce of this recipe the last time by using Chef John's "Hide The Little Fish" pasta/pizza sauce that I had leftover in the fridge and it was great! I prefer using imported pasta from Italy because it is pressed through bronze extruding equipment that gives the pasta more texture and that makes any sauce stick to it a little more. Another tip: ~ 1 teaspoon of anchovy paste equals 1 anchovy filet. I keep a tube of anchovy paste in my fridge for sauce recipes like this or for my Caesar salad dressing recipe. Read More
(26)
Rating: 5 stars
05/17/2016
Excellent! I know this as tuna fish gravy. I didn't have capers and I used red wine. Traditionally no parmesan cheese with fish in it, but I love it on my pasta. I like to saute my tuna fish for a minute or so after putting the garlic in and use my immersion blender on my tomatoes before adding it into the pot. I also like to simmer it covered an hour or so. Thank you for reminding me of another great economical way of getting fish into my diet. Read More
(11)
Rating: 5 stars
04/09/2014
I probably shouldn't rate this because I left out a couple key ingredients but I loved it so much I just had to. Plus I can only imagine it would be even better with the full ingredients. This is what I changed. I left out the capers and anchovies because I didn't have any. Also I used red wine instead of white because that's what was open. Also used dry parsley instead of fresh. Other than that, I made it as specifies and boy was it delicious. I will update this rating when I make it again with all the right ingredients. Read More
(9)
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Rating: 5 stars
11/04/2015
I'm nursing an injury and having a grocery crisis. Had two cans of regular tuna in water so I modified this recipe to what I had. We needed enough for two plus lunches tomorrow and it worked out pretty well for four servings. Used three anchovies 4 tbsp capers olive oil but had to substitute reserved tuna water white wine vinegar a tiny bit of mirin and enough water to make 1 cup of liquid to replace the 1/2 cup of white wine that is called for. Added that and then reduced it down to about 6 tbsp liquid then added one can of red pasta sauce and one can of diced Italian style tomatoes thickened it then added the two cans of drained tuna and the parsley. Thickened it a bit more and then added very al dente vegetable spaghetti noodles (1 lb. when dry) and let it finish. Used double spices and subbed Italian seasoning for oregano. We garnished with lots of fresh parsley shredded Italian cheese blend ( out of Parmesan ) some of the olive oil from the anchovies and a little minced anchovy cause we love them.. Awesome! A small mixed green salad with a slightly sweet vinaigrette some crusty bread and a slice of cheesecake would have made this restaurant worthy lol. Note: doubling the red pepper and cayenne was fine the first day but a little spicier than necessary the next day (still good though.) Read More
(5)
Rating: 5 stars
01/06/2015
I'm poor right now. Thank you that I don't have to buy expensive spaghetti sauce to have good sauce. Read More
(5)
Rating: 5 stars
03/22/2014
Fantastic pantry meal. Loved the flavors. I didn't drain my oil packed tuna. Read More
(5)
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Rating: 5 stars
01/05/2018
Made as directed, it's a tuna "bolognese" and is very tasty. First time I made it I didn't tell my husband what it was because I thought he'd prejudge "tuna spaghetti". However, he really enjoyed the dish. In fact, he asked for it again. Made it last night --- yum! Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
03/21/2014
Delicious! I saw the video last week and went to Food Wishes to get the recipe; I'm glad it's on the site. We omitted the Parmesan. Read More
(3)
Rating: 2 stars
07/11/2015
Won't make this one again. I like tuna and i like marinara but i did not like them together Read More
(3)