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Chef John's Spaghetti al Tonno

Rated as 4.35 out of 5 Stars

"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."
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55 m servings 619
Original recipe yields 4 servings


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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.


  • Partner Tip
  • Reynolds® Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 619 calories; 17.7 79.5 31.2 14 706 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 45
  1. 63 Ratings

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Most helpful positive review

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 us...

Most helpful critical review

Won't make this one again. I like tuna and i like marinara but i did not like them together

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Most positive
Least positive

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 us...

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 fis...

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 i...

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 o...

I'm poor right now. Thank you that I don't have to buy expensive spaghetti sauce to have good sauce.

Fantastic pantry meal. Loved the flavors. I didn't drain my oil packed tuna.

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.

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 enj...

I would make this one every day until I couldn't eat it any more. This was the most enjoyable pasta dish I've made/eaten in a very long time. I had to leave the table after two helpings for fear...