This is a very simple, yet flavoursome pasta dish. I ate it for the first time many years ago at a family friend’s house (Laura) and I have been making it ever since. What I love the most about this pasta is the contrast between strong flavours (lemon and garlic) and between textures: the softness of the tuna and the crunchiness of the breadcrumbs. So simple… yet so delicious. You can make it either with short or long pasta.
Ingredients for 4 persons:
200 gms of good quality tuna in olive oil
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 lemons (the juice of both and the zest of half – the zest is optional)
1 pinch salt
1 tsp continental parsley, chopped
400 gms casarecce (or penne or spaghetti)
For the garlic breadcrumbs:
6 tbsp breadcrumbs
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 big cloves of garlic, pressed with the garlic press or mashed in a mortar and pestle.
Coarsely chop the garlic clove and put it in a small pot with 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil. Let it fry on a very low flame for 1 minute. The garlic has to remain whitish. If it turns brown it is going to taste bitter.
Then drain the tuna from its oil and put it in the pot with the garlic.
Break it with a fork and let it heat for a minute. Then add the lemon juice, zest (optional), chopped parsley and salt and keep it on the fire for 1 minute. When the sauce is warm, it is ready.
In the meantime, prepare the garlic breadcrumbs by mixing the crumbs with the 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and the mashed garlic.
Cook the casarecce following the steps on How to cook pasta “al dente” in the Techniques page of this site. While the casarecce are cooking, add a couple of tbsp of the pasta’s water into the tuna sauce to make it more fluid.
When the pasta is ready, drain it and mix well with the tuna and lemon sauce. Serve with the garlic breadcrumbs on the top.