This is not your mother’s tuna-noodle casserole. Not mine, anyway. This is, though, a basic, easy thing: spaghetti with tuna and lemon. Perfect for a lazy weeknight dinner, easily accomplished between bouts of checking my Twitter feed, playing Words with Friends and other impatient, hungry nail-tapping at the kitchen counter. I often steal these moments with my iPhone while I cook, when the meal allows it. This one does.
This was one of the first meals made with the luscious albacore that I recently canned, using the pieces that don’t tuck neatly into half-pint jars. Hoisted from the chilly waters of the northern Pacific, and butchered (literally and figuratively) by my non-fishmongering, laywoman hands, the collar and scraps of belly meat – enjoyed especially by the Japanese – were poached in a delicate mirepoix broth on its way to becoming fish fume (with the addition of the tuna skeleton and head). Flaked with these same hands (more deftly, this time) into a tangle of spaghetti. Lubricated with a goodly amount of fruity olive oil; seasoned with parsley, capers and fat pinches of salt and pepper; and gilded with lemon – its zest and twangy juice.
These parts of the fish are not to be thrown away – they are silken and unctuous. This fish is so moist and delicate, and the sprightly lemon punctuates each fragrant-oily bite. The chorophyllic parsley and briny capers provide botanical polyphony. Serve with a crispy soave and crusty bread.