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Spaghetti with Tuna

  • 30 minutes
  • Easy
  • First Courses
In this traditional Sicilian recipe, spaghetti is paired with one of the most characteristically Mediteranean fish, giving life to a simple, flavorful dish.

Ingredients: Per 4 servings

  • ¾ lb spaghetti
  • lb fresh tuna fillets
  • salt to taste
  • 2 ½ cups tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil


Fry the fresh tuna fish in olive oil until it becomes golden, then drain it and salt it.

Prepare a tomato sauce and when it is cooked to perfection, add the fried tuna cut into small pieces, along with a generous helping of chopped parsley.

Cook together for 10 minutes, over a low heat, and then dress the spaghetti taking care to put on every plate some sauce and tuna fish.

A variant of the recipe uses tomato sauce (4 cup) with the addition of 8 ounces of tuna fish under oil, well drained and reduced to small pieces.
Mix, add a chopped mix of parsley and garlic cloves, and leave to cook over low heat for 10 minutes, then use to dress the spaghetti.

Food History

Tuna is one of the most characteristic fish of the Mediterranean. Fished for thousands of years, the methods for catching the fish have developed over the centuries. The traditional “tonnara”, of tuna hunting with large nets, has been repaced with museums, restaurants and tourist attractions.
In Sicily, however, there are still two tuna hunts near Trapani: one in Bonagia and the other in Favignana.
Here, you can witness the "mattanza",  the ancient passage of the large from the Atlantic to the Mediteranean at the end of spring.
Over 300 kilos of fish are caught in the large nets attached to boats with out motors. The chief, or “rais”, sings ancient Sicilian songs, giving the fishermen his orders. Leftover from an archaic world, the tuna hunts are almost impossible to understand. They are a combination of tradition and superstition, a fight for survival and desire for wealth. A tragic, one-of-a-kind show.

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