Serves 4 to 6
Look for high-quality anchovies and canned tuna imported from Italy, Spain, and Portugal (they really know their tinned fish!). You can make the sauce for this dish ahead of time, through Step 2, if you like. Reheat it before moving on to Step 3 the night you plan to serve it.
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
- One 2-oz can oil-packed anchovies, drained
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Two 5-oz cans oil-packed tuna, drained and flaked
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- One 6-oz can tomato paste
- Kosher salt, as needed
- Red pepper flakes, as needed
- 1 lb dried linguine
- Heat the oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the anchovies and cook, stirring and mashing them, until they melt. Add the garlic and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the aroma is released, about 2 minutes. Stir in the parsley and cook another 1 or 2 minutes. Add the tuna and the wine and cook until the wine has nearly cooked away. Add the tomato paste, stirring well, and cook until it has a sweet aroma and a rich rusty color, another 2 minutes.
- Add 6 cups of water and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook, covered, until the sauce is reduced, thick, and rich, 45 to 60 minutes. Taste the sauce and season, as necessary, with salt and some red pepper flakes.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the linguine and stir to submerge the pasta and separate the strands. Cook, uncovered, until the pasta is just tender (al dente), 8 to 10 minutes (check the cooking time for your pasta). Reserve a few ladlefuls of the pasta cooking water for finishing the sauce (you will need about 1/2 cup).
- Drain the pasta in a colander. Shake well to remove any water clinging to the pasta. Pour the drained pasta into a large heated serving bowl. Add the tuna and anchovy sauce and 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta cooking water and toss together until the pasta is evenly coated.
- Drizzle with oil and serve at once.