A seafood variety of Rigatoni, this spicy tomato pasta dish combines the rich flavor of tomato with ahi tuna and bonito flakes.
Recipe courtesy of Cal Mare.
- 1 1/2 strained, crushed, Napoli tomatoes, such as San Marzano brand
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 6x6-inch piece cheesecloth and a piece of butcher's twine
- 1/2 lb. ahi (yellow fin) tuna (belly strip preferable), but into 1/2-inch chunks
- 4 tablespoons bonito flakes
- 1 lb. Rigatoni
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- 2 cups lukewarm water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, to taste
- Reserve 3/4 cup of pasta water
- 2 tablespoons pecorino romano, microplaned
- 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
- 1 Make a sachet of the bonito flakes using the cheesecloth and tie with butcher twine.
- 2 Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, drop the pasta and cook for 6 minutes then drain.
- 3 In a large non-stick skillet, place 4 tablespoons olive oil and heat over medium-low, add onions to the pan, sweat until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and crushed red pepper, then add the sachet, and simmer for 3 more minutes.
- 4 Adjust the heat to medium, add the pasta water at the end and stir to reduce.
- 5 In a small non-stick skillet, add the grapeseed oil and heat on medium heat until almost smoking, add the tuna and cook one side then the other, 2 minutes each side, or until slightly browned. Remove and drain on paper towel. Reserve.
- 6 Remove sachet and discard. Taste the sauce for seasoning, adjusting as needed then add the cheese and parsley to incorporate, prior to adding the pasta, so that the noodle cooks to al dente within the sauce.
- 7 Add the tuna belly to the sauce. Try not to agitate the pan too much, to keep the integrity of the fish so that there are good sized chunks in the finished dish as the contents are gently combined and the cheese begins to melt.
- 8 Portion into warm bowls and serve hot.