Food by VICE

Tuna alla Bolognese Recipe

Not your typical bolognese.

by Luca Giovanni Pappalardo
Apr 26 2019, 1:00pm

Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Servings: 4
Prep time: 1 hour minutes
Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes (with a month to wait for the tuna)


for the tuna:
2 pounds|900 grams tuna, skin removed
1/2 cup|140 grams coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon juniper berries
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
extra-virgin olive oil

for the pasta:
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 anchovy fillets, minced
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 pound|425 grams spaghetti


1. Prepare the tuna: Place the tuna in a bowl and run under cold water until the tuna is flushed out and the color has faded, about 10 minutes.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil with the salt, juniper berries, peppercorns, and bay leaf. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and add the tuna. Cook gently for 1 hour, then allow the tuna to cool in the liquid before draining.

3. Place the tuna in a container and cover with extra-virgin olive oil. Cover and refrigerate for 1 month.

4. One month later, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add the onion and cook until soft and lightly golden, 3 minutes. Add the anchovy and cook 1 minute more, then stir in the half of the parsley and the tomatoes. Break the tuna into chunks and add it to the sauce. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.

5. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook until al dente, then drain. Transfer to the skillet with the sauce and toss to combine. Drizzle with more olive oil to serve and garnish with the remaining parsley.