"Pasta with Spicy Tuna Sauce" recipe - "Calamarata al Tonno"

“Pasta with Spicy Tuna Sauce” recipe – “Calamarata al Tonno”

    • Prep Time
    • Minutes
    • Cook Time
    • Minutes
    • Difficulty Level

Total Cost: UK/£ 5.48*

Cost/portion: UK/£ 1.83*

Utensils you will need

One chef knife
One paring knife
One chopping board
One large non-stick frying pan
One kitchen cloth
Cooking string
One small bowl
One zester or grater
One pestle and mortar
One 6lt saucepan
One wooden spatula or silicon spatula
One strainer
One pasta server or a skimmer
One ladle

Note for the users: please click on the label “HOW TO” to watch the slide-show of each cooking step.

* Please note that both total cost and cost per portion are approximate and that can vary according to seasons and to different conditions.

Recipe Rating

  • (1 Rating)

Ingredients

  • for the sauce

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 70gr

  • "Suited garlic”cloves - 1 [part 1 of 2]

  • Parsley sprigs - 25gr

  • Capers (in salt) - 12gr

  • Red Chili Pepper - 1 or 2 according to taste

  • "Suited garlic”cloves - 1 [part 2 of 2]

  • Anchovies - 8gr

  • Tuna (in Extra Virgin Olive/Sunflower Oil) - 140gr (drained weight)

  • in alternative, use tuna in brine, but then add one or two pinches of salt.
  • Tomato passata - 270gr

  • Salt - 1 pinch

  • for the pasta

  • Calamarata pasta- 270gr

  • in alternative, Penne, Paccheri, Mezze Maniche or any large shape pasta.
  • Water - 5lt

  • Salt - 45gr

Instructions

  • 1.
    Flavouring and boiling the water and heating the olive oil

    • Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 70gr
    • Suited garlic clove - 1 [part 1of 2]
    • Parsley sprigs - 25gr
    • Water - 5lt

      Put the saucepan over a high heat with 5lt of water. You will add the salt to it later.
      Put the extra virgin olive oil into the frying pan with one unpeeled garlic clove and set the heat to the minimum power (step 1 - pic. A).
      Thoroughly wash the parsley under running water, then dry gently with a kitchen cloth.
      Separate the leaves from the stalks and tie up these into a small bouquet garni using some cooking string. Then add the parsley stalks to the cooking water for pasta (step 1 - pic. B).

      Note about salt and water for pasta

      If you think you might forget to salt water before adding pasta, you can salt water right after putting it on heat. This can become a safe routine, but the commonly unknown result of this is that it will require a longer time to come to the boiling temperature of 100ºC. It would be better instead to wait for the boiling to start and then carefully add the salt. The addiction of salt at this stage causes a sudden increase of the temperature of the solution for a couple of seconds during which the water increases the bubbling and risks to pour out if the pan’s sides are not sufficiently high.

      So the right pan should be taller than its diameter and capacious enough to contain a good amount of water.

      The minimum ratio between water and pasta is 1lt every 100gr. Although, for small amount of pasta it’s better to use a fairly large and deep pan which will keep the water to temperature also after dropping the pasta in. So that’s why I prefer to use 5lt of water even just to cook a single portion of pasta.

      Another important detail of which to take care, is the right quantity of salt to add to the water. It depends on the quantity of salt the condiment for pasta is going to contain and the cooking time that pasta requires; not only on your personal taste.

      A normal dose of salt is 11-12gr per litre of water and it can be increased to a maximum of 14-15gr for those who like their food to be particularly savoury. When using ingredients which are already salty themselves, like bacon or ham, the dose can be lowered to a minimum of 9-10gr per litre of water, as well as when you know that you will bind pasta with a lot of its own cooking water.

      Keep also in mind that longer cooking time require smaller doses of salt whereas quicker cooking will need a larger dose.

  • 2.
    Mincing the capers, garlic, chili pepper and frying the anchovies

    • Capers (in salt) - 12gr
    • Red Chili Pepper - 1 or 2 according to taste
    • Suited garlic - 1 clove [part 2 of 2]
    • Anchovies - 8gr

      Put the capers into a strainer and wash them under running water. Drain them thoroughly and mince them finely with a chef knife.
      Finely chop the fresh red chili pepper, then peel the garlic clove with a paring knife and grate it with a zester (step 2 - pic. A).
      Add the anchovies and the grated garlic to the warming extra virgin olive oil and set the heat to a medium power. Let the heat melt gently the anchovies and brake them in pieces with a spatula if needed (step 2 - pic. B).

  • 3.
    Adding the tuna and tomato passata

    • Tuna (in Extra Virgin Olive/Sunflower Oil) - 140gr (drained weight)
    • in alternative, use tuna in brine, but then add one or two pinches of salt.
      Tomato passata - 270gr

    • Salt - 1 pinch

      Set the heat to a high power under the frying pan and add the drained tuna in chunks. Stir evenly and let the tuna cook for a couple of minutes (step 3 - pic. A).
      Then add the tomato passata, season it with a pinch of salt and stir it together with the tuna (step 3 - pic. B).
      Lover the heat to a medium power.

  • 4.
    Boiling the “Calamarata” pasta

    • Salt - 45gr
    • Calamarata pasta- 270gr

      When the water has come to a stable boil, season it with 45gr of salt (step 4 - pic. A). The water will react increasing the boiling rapidly for a few seconds. When this has finished, drop in the pasta (step 4 - pic. B). Stir the pasta frequently during the first few minutes to prevent the pieces stick to each other.
      The pasta will have to be strained half a minute before being properly done “al dente”.

      Note about salt and water for pasta

      If you think you might forget to salt water before adding pasta, you can salt water right after putting it on heat. This can become a safe routine, but the commonly unknown result of this is that it will require a longer time to come to the boiling temperature of 100ºC. It would be better instead to wait for the boiling to start and then carefully add the salt. The addiction of salt at this stage causes a sudden increase of the temperature of the solution for a couple of seconds during which the water increases the bubbling and risks to pour out if the pan’s sides are not sufficiently high.

      So the right pan should be taller than its diameter and capacious enough to contain a good amount of water.

      The minimum ratio between water and pasta is 1lt every 100gr. Although, for small amount of pasta it’s better to use a fairly large and deep pan which will keep the water to temperature also after dropping the pasta in. So that’s why I prefer to use 5lt of water even just to cook a single portion of pasta.

      Another important detail of which to take care, is the right quantity of salt to add to the water. It depends on the quantity of salt the condiment for pasta is going to contain and the cooking time that pasta requires; not only on your personal taste.

      A normal dose of salt is 11-12gr per litre of water and it can be increased to a maximum of 14-15gr for those who like their food to be particularly savoury. When using ingredients which are already salty themselves, like bacon or ham, the dose can be lowered to a minimum of 9-10gr per litre of water, as well as when you know that you will bind pasta with a lot of its own cooking water.

      Keep also in mind that longer cooking time require smaller doses of salt whereas quicker cooking will need a larger dose.

  • 5.
    Adding the capers and the chili pepper and mincing the parsley

    • The sauce with tuna
    • The minced capers
    • The chopped fresh chili pepper
    • The parsley leaves

      Add the capers and the chili pepper to the tuna sauce and stir evenly (step 5 - pic. A).
      While the pasta is cooking, finely mince the parsley leaves with a chef knife and set aside (step 5 - pic. B).

  • 6.
    Straining the pasta and binding it to the sauce

    • The sauce in the frying pan
    • The boiled Calamarata pasta
    • The minced parsley
    • 2 or 3 tbs of cooking liquor

      Using a pasta server or a skimmer, strain the pasta directly into the saucepan with the tuna sauce (step 6 - pic. A).
      Alternatively, collect a smallamount of cooking liquor into a jug and drain the pasta with a strainer, but do not let it dry completely.
      Immediately increase the heat to a high power and add 2 or 3 tbs of cooking liquor, not more than that. Stir rapidly and let the water and the sauce mix together and coat the pasta while reducing.
      Take the pan away from the heat and add the minced parsley. Stir evenly, rest for a couple of minutes and serve (step 4 - pic. B).

      Note about the correct cooking point "al dente”

      “Al dente” literally means “to the tooth”. It indicates the perfect consistency that pasta, or any other food, should have at the end of the cooking process: not too soft and not too hard at chewing. Pasta cooked “al dente” maintains a harder consistency at the centre of the dough sheet which gives the diners a pleasant feeling of “biting” rather than “mushing” something under their teeth..

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Instructions

  • 1.
    Flavouring and boiling the water and heating the olive oil

    • Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 70gr
    • Suited garlic clove - 1 [part 1of 2]
    • Parsley sprigs - 25gr
    • Water - 5lt

      Put the saucepan over a high heat with 5lt of water. You will add the salt to it later.
      Put the extra virgin olive oil into the frying pan with one unpeeled garlic clove and set the heat to the minimum power (step 1 - pic. A).
      Thoroughly wash the parsley under running water, then dry gently with a kitchen cloth.
      Separate the leaves from the stalks and tie up these into a small bouquet garni using some cooking string. Then add the parsley stalks to the cooking water for pasta (step 1 - pic. B).

      Note about salt and water for pasta

      If you think you might forget to salt water before adding pasta, you can salt water right after putting it on heat. This can become a safe routine, but the commonly unknown result of this is that it will require a longer time to come to the boiling temperature of 100ºC. It would be better instead to wait for the boiling to start and then carefully add the salt. The addiction of salt at this stage causes a sudden increase of the temperature of the solution for a couple of seconds during which the water increases the bubbling and risks to pour out if the pan’s sides are not sufficiently high.

      So the right pan should be taller than its diameter and capacious enough to contain a good amount of water.

      The minimum ratio between water and pasta is 1lt every 100gr. Although, for small amount of pasta it’s better to use a fairly large and deep pan which will keep the water to temperature also after dropping the pasta in. So that’s why I prefer to use 5lt of water even just to cook a single portion of pasta.

      Another important detail of which to take care, is the right quantity of salt to add to the water. It depends on the quantity of salt the condiment for pasta is going to contain and the cooking time that pasta requires; not only on your personal taste.

      A normal dose of salt is 11-12gr per litre of water and it can be increased to a maximum of 14-15gr for those who like their food to be particularly savoury. When using ingredients which are already salty themselves, like bacon or ham, the dose can be lowered to a minimum of 9-10gr per litre of water, as well as when you know that you will bind pasta with a lot of its own cooking water.

      Keep also in mind that longer cooking time require smaller doses of salt whereas quicker cooking will need a larger dose.

  • 2.
    Mincing the capers, garlic, chili pepper and frying the anchovies

    • Capers (in salt) - 12gr
    • Red Chili Pepper - 1 or 2 according to taste
    • Suited garlic - 1 clove [part 2 of 2]
    • Anchovies - 8gr

      Put the capers into a strainer and wash them under running water. Drain them thoroughly and mince them finely with a chef knife.
      Finely chop the fresh red chili pepper, then peel the garlic clove with a paring knife and grate it with a zester (step 2 - pic. A).
      Add the anchovies and the grated garlic to the warming extra virgin olive oil and set the heat to a medium power. Let the heat melt gently the anchovies and brake them in pieces with a spatula if needed (step 2 - pic. B).

  • 3.
    Adding the tuna and tomato passata

    • Tuna (in Extra Virgin Olive/Sunflower Oil) - 140gr (drained weight)
    • in alternative, use tuna in brine, but then add one or two pinches of salt.
      Tomato passata - 270gr

    • Salt - 1 pinch

      Set the heat to a high power under the frying pan and add the drained tuna in chunks. Stir evenly and let the tuna cook for a couple of minutes (step 3 - pic. A).
      Then add the tomato passata, season it with a pinch of salt and stir it together with the tuna (step 3 - pic. B).
      Lover the heat to a medium power.

  • 4.
    Boiling the “Calamarata” pasta

    • Salt - 45gr
    • Calamarata pasta- 270gr

      When the water has come to a stable boil, season it with 45gr of salt (step 4 - pic. A). The water will react increasing the boiling rapidly for a few seconds. When this has finished, drop in the pasta (step 4 - pic. B). Stir the pasta frequently during the first few minutes to prevent the pieces stick to each other.
      The pasta will have to be strained half a minute before being properly done “al dente”.

      Note about salt and water for pasta

      If you think you might forget to salt water before adding pasta, you can salt water right after putting it on heat. This can become a safe routine, but the commonly unknown result of this is that it will require a longer time to come to the boiling temperature of 100ºC. It would be better instead to wait for the boiling to start and then carefully add the salt. The addiction of salt at this stage causes a sudden increase of the temperature of the solution for a couple of seconds during which the water increases the bubbling and risks to pour out if the pan’s sides are not sufficiently high.

      So the right pan should be taller than its diameter and capacious enough to contain a good amount of water.

      The minimum ratio between water and pasta is 1lt every 100gr. Although, for small amount of pasta it’s better to use a fairly large and deep pan which will keep the water to temperature also after dropping the pasta in. So that’s why I prefer to use 5lt of water even just to cook a single portion of pasta.

      Another important detail of which to take care, is the right quantity of salt to add to the water. It depends on the quantity of salt the condiment for pasta is going to contain and the cooking time that pasta requires; not only on your personal taste.

      A normal dose of salt is 11-12gr per litre of water and it can be increased to a maximum of 14-15gr for those who like their food to be particularly savoury. When using ingredients which are already salty themselves, like bacon or ham, the dose can be lowered to a minimum of 9-10gr per litre of water, as well as when you know that you will bind pasta with a lot of its own cooking water.

      Keep also in mind that longer cooking time require smaller doses of salt whereas quicker cooking will need a larger dose.

  • 5.
    Adding the capers and the chili pepper and mincing the parsley

    • The sauce with tuna
    • The minced capers
    • The chopped fresh chili pepper
    • The parsley leaves

      Add the capers and the chili pepper to the tuna sauce and stir evenly (step 5 - pic. A).
      While the pasta is cooking, finely mince the parsley leaves with a chef knife and set aside (step 5 - pic. B).

  • 6.
    Straining the pasta and binding it to the sauce

    • The sauce in the frying pan
    • The boiled Calamarata pasta
    • The minced parsley
    • 2 or 3 tbs of cooking liquor

      Using a pasta server or a skimmer, strain the pasta directly into the saucepan with the tuna sauce (step 6 - pic. A).
      Alternatively, collect a smallamount of cooking liquor into a jug and drain the pasta with a strainer, but do not let it dry completely.
      Immediately increase the heat to a high power and add 2 or 3 tbs of cooking liquor, not more than that. Stir rapidly and let the water and the sauce mix together and coat the pasta while reducing.
      Take the pan away from the heat and add the minced parsley. Stir evenly, rest for a couple of minutes and serve (step 4 - pic. B).

      Note about the correct cooking point "al dente”

      “Al dente” literally means “to the tooth”. It indicates the perfect consistency that pasta, or any other food, should have at the end of the cooking process: not too soft and not too hard at chewing. Pasta cooked “al dente” maintains a harder consistency at the centre of the dough sheet which gives the diners a pleasant feeling of “biting” rather than “mushing” something under their teeth..

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"Pasta with Spicy Tuna Sauce" recipe - "Calamarata al Tonno"
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