Aired September 20, 2007
7 tablespoons EVOO, divided
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons anchovy paste (optional)
A pinch of red pepper flakes
2 cups bread crumbs, plain
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 can Italian tuna (about 6 ounces), packed in EVOO, drained
1 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes (look for ones from San Marzano)
Place a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook according to the package instructions.
While the water is coming to a boil, place a large skillet over medium heat with 3 tablespoons EVOO. Add the chopped garlic, anchovy paste and red pepper flakes and cook for about a minute. Add the bread crumbs, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix thoroughly to let the bread crumbs toast up very lightly. Once the bread crumbs have toasted and are dark golden brown in color, toss in the parsley, remove from heat and reserve. Be careful not to let the bread crumbs sit too long over the heat without being tossed frequently, otherwise they might burn.
Preheat another large skillet over medium high heat with the remaining 4 tablespoon of EVOO and add the tuna. Crush the tuna a little bit with the back of a wooden spoon and allow it to slightly melt into the EVOO. Add the tomatoes and crush them with a potato masher. Let the tuna tomato mixture cook for about 5-6 minutes and season with salt and pepper.
If you have used anchovy paste, be careful with the seasoning of salt, anchovies have a salty flavor.
Once the sauce has cooked down a bit, add the cooked pasta and toss to combine. Sprinkle with the seasoned bread crumb mixture for extra texture and more great flavor.