Tuna and fennel spaghetti – Spaghetti con tonno e finocchietto

It is a specialty from the area of Modica known as “lasagne cacate”, and was the Sicilian farmers’ traditional dish on New Year’s Day.
Homemade lasagnas, made with eggs and flour, were traditionally prepared especially in the hinterland.

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 14 oz. of spaghetti
  • 9 oz. of fresh tuna in slices
  • 1 small bundle of wild fennel
  • 1.7 oz. of pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp of capers
  • 1 lb of peeled tomatoes
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 glass extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • dry white wine
  • salt
  • paprika

Preparation
Remove tops and wash the wild fennel; boil in plenty of salty water, drain (keeping some of the liquid) and mince. Soak the tuna in cold water for about twenty minutes; dry and dice. Sautè the crushed garlic in a saucepan with the oil and the minced onion. Add the farmer fennel, the capers and the pine nuts. Let the flavors marry a little, and add the tuna, sprinkle with some wine and let evaporate. Add the chopped and seedless tomatoes; add salt, flavor with a pinch of paprika and simmer for about 1/2 hour, incorporating ( if necessary) some spoons of warm water. Cook the spaghetti “al dente” and season.

Variation
You can enrich this recipe with 1/2 fried diced eggplant and a handful of toasted and minced almonds.