spaghetti con tonno e finocchio

spaghetti with tuna and fennel


1     pound spaghetti
8     ounces tuna in olive oil
1     onion
2     garlic cloves
4     anchovy filets
1     large ripe tomato
2     tablespoons capers
1     pinch saffron
1/4  cup parsley
1/2  cup fennel leaves
1/4  cup olive oil
  toasted breadcrumbs (mollica)

Dice the onion, slice the garlic cloves in half, finely chop the
parsley and the fennel leaves. Slice the tomato in half, gently
squeeze out the seeds and coarsely chop. Drain the oil from the
canned tuna and crumble into pieces.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, then add the spaghetti.

Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, add the olive oil, chopped
onions and garlic and cook for over moderate heat until the
onions are transparent. Mash in the anchovy filets, then add the
chopped tomato, capers, parsley, fennel and saffron and cook
for several minutes. Add the tuna to the sauce.

When the spaghetti has cooked al dente, strain and toos the
pasta in the sauce and simmer until the ingredients are well

Sprinkle with toasted breadcrumbs and serve.


toasted breadcrumbs

Coarsely grate the stale bread over a large mixing bowl, remove
any large pieces, then lightly coat a saute pan with olive oil and
allow the pan to heat over moderate flame. Add the
breadcrumbs, and stir frequently to prevent sticking or burning.
When they are evenly toasted to a golden brown, remove from
the pan and set aside to cool.

This recipe calls for at least 1/4 cup, but make as much as you
like as they can be used for other recipes, or for added crunch to
a salad.

You can use plain packaged breadcrumbs from the market, but
the quality will not be as good as homemade, and are too fine
for this pasta dish. Before the days of
 food processors, my
mother and grandmother made breadcrumbs by placing stale bread
inside a paper bag and pounding the bag with the side of an empty
wine bottle. It still works, and I prefer this tecnique to a food
                                                           the food of the eolian islands and sicily

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