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The 2-Minute, No-Cook Marcella Hazan Pasta Sauce You’ve Never Heard Of

Food52 logo Food52 10/10/2019 Ella Quittner

A few things you should know about me:

  1. I love a pasta trick, whether it pertains to a plating strategy, boiling techniques, or an especially clever sauce idea.

  2. Waiting for dinner to cook after a long day at work makes me irrationally cranky and typically results in such aggressive snacking that I'm no longer hungry.

  3. There's always at least one can of tuna, packed in olive oil, hanging out in my pantry.

So I consider Marcella Hazan's lesser-known brilliant recipe—not that I don't love that other one!—for fettuccine col sugo di tonno con aglio e panna to be something of a trifecta.

a bowl of pasta sits on a plate © Provided by Food52

Marcella Hazan's Fettuccine col Sugo di Tonno con Aglio e Panna

By Food52

  • 1 (7-ounce) can of Italian-style tuna packed in olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic chopped very fine
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • Salt
  • Black pepper in a grinder
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (Parmesan), plus additional for the table
  • Fettuccine (Marcella calls for homemade, we use 3/4 lb boxed dried fettuccine)

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If you can stir a few ingredients together, you can make it—in the same time it takes you to boil noodles. The gist is this: Combine minced garlic, parsley, an egg, softened butter, cream, tuna, and Parm in a bowl. Plunge a big handful of fettuccine into a burbling pot of salted water. Pour a glass of wine. Respond to an email, or skim an article you've had earmarked for a week. Transfer the fettuccine to the bowl. Toss. And that's it! (The email bit isn't strictly part of Hazan's recipe, but imagine how pleased you'll be to have a pasta that also diminishes your to-do list.)

In Marcella's Italian Kitchen, Hazan writes, "Canned tuna is a familiar ingredient in pasta sauces. Although I was once very fond of it, there was a harshness to the taste of tuna sauces, both other cooks' and my own, that began to trouble me. It took a long while, as my dissatisfaction grew, for me to identify its cause. At last I knew: Cooking altered tuna's taste."

In her version, she simply doesn't. The residual heat from the cooked noodles is enough to gently bring everything together as you toss, to the tune of whatever song you turned on during that wine interlude. It saves you time, and a dirty saucepan. Which brings me to the last thing you should know about me: I hate to do dishes.

Related video: What to Add to Jarred Pasta Sauce to Make it Taste Homemade [provided by TPSY]

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