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Bucatini al Tonno with Garlicky Breadcrumbs

I know what you're thinking when you see "tuna and noodle" in the same sentence, but get that vision out of your head because this recipe is NOT that! This Bucatini al Tonno is on the other end of the tuna noodle spectrum: it's a fresh and fast pasta stunner featuring just a few high quality ingredients and lots of big flavor.


My friend recently brought me some gorgeous garden grown cherry tomatoes and I just knew I wanted to make a pasta with them- however, I was craving something a little more substantial to mix in. I opened up my pantry to find a glistening jar of olive oil packed yellowfin tuna staring back at me- bingo! I only ever buy olive oil packed tuna. It's got much better flavor and texture than the water packed canned stuff. The savory tuna shines when partnered with jammy tomatoes, lots of fresh herbs, perfectly cooked bucatini, and a sprinkle of garlicky breadcrumbs.


The garlicky breadcrumbs are optional, but I have become addicted to the crisp texture and hint of garlic flavor that they add to this dish and many others! These crumbs are delicious as various pasta toppings and also mixed in to salads. You start by infusing olive oil with garlic, then add panko breadcrumbs and toast in the garlic oil until deeply golden all over. Delish!

 

prep time: 15 min. cook time: 15 min. serves: 2-3


INGREDIENTS

8 oz bucatini pasta (half package)

kosher salt

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 tsp anchovy paste

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes or to taste

1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano

3-4 cups halved cherry tomatoes (2 pints)

1-7 oz jar olive oil packed tuna, drained and flaked into large pieces

1/2 cup torn basil leaves, plus extra for garnish

1 tbsp butter

garlicky breadcrumbs for serving*


GARLICKY BREADCRUMBS

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 large cloves garlic, peeled and lightly smashed

1 cup panko bread crumbs

1/2 tsp kosher salt


 

INSTRUCTIONS

To make the breadcrumbs, add the oil and the garlic cloves to a medium skillet. Place over medium heat and sauté the garlic until lightly golden all over. Add the breadcrumbs to the garlic infused oil along with the salt. Reduce the heat to medium low and toast the crumbs until the are deeply golden, stirring often. This should take about 5-7 minutes. Remove the breadcrumbs to a paper towel lined plate to drain and discard the garlic cloves. Once cool, store them in an airtight container for up to 1 week.


Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season liberally with kosher salt and drop the bucatini to cook until al dente, about 10-11 min. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water before straining the pasta.


Meanwhile, heat the 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, anchovy, oregano and pepper flakes and stir to sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and 1 tsp kosher salt and sauté about 10 minutes more, until the tomatoes start to release their juices and the sauce thickens.


Add the tuna and basil leaves to sauce and stir to combine. Add the bucatini and a bit of the pasta water and stir over medium heat until the sauce thickens and the noodles are glossy. Add more pasta water as needed. Off the heat, stir in the tbsp of butter. Serve hot in shallow bowls garnished with more basil and some of the garlicky breadcrumbs sprinkled over the top!

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