First Night in Florence Spaghetti....

By • August 17, 2011 • 162 Comments

285 Save

If you like it, save it!

Save and organize all of the stuff you love in one place.

Got it!

If you like something…

Click the heart, it's called favoriting. Favorite the stuff you like.

Got it!


Author Notes: It was the first of many evenings without George Clooney. We flew over the gorgeous hills north of Florence on the flight from Paris. I think we passed over Lake Como. Being under strict orders from my friend, Marci, to Find. George., I took as mental a note as I was capable of. On the flight to Paris, I’d been trapped in a window seat on the wrong side of the restrooms since approximately Newfoundland by a nice nurse of the missionary persuasion. She’d been traveling between family in the U.S. and the Ivory Coast for 40 years. She knew how to sleep on a plane. I can be quite polite. So I was a little ragged when I flopped into Florence at 3:00 in the afternoon, 18 hours after I had first taken off (though it was a couple of days before I was capable of doing the math).

Leaving the airport was like walking into a pizza oven. Hot. Seriously hot. I took a taxi to the daughter’s apartment, where the kind concierge was expecting me and let me in. I forced myself to stay awake until the daughter arrived a couple of hours later, but don’t ask me how. I was determined to start living on Italian time from the start so as not to miss one precious moment of the whole experience. I suspect a shower was involved, and probably a change of clothes. Lordy, it was hot. How few clothes could I get away with? I was never going to see most of these people again, right?

When the daughter and her roommates arrived home, the first thing she did was take me for a walk along the Arno and around her neighborhood: the favorite café, the nearest market, and most important, the best gelato place. With free wifi. Have I mentioned it was hot? I didn’t exactly hang on the daughter’s arm, beg abjectly and weep, but I did suggest that perhaps we for just the first night we could have dinner Americanly early rather than Europeanly late. The daughter, who was getting by on the 10,000 calorie a day extreme dancer’s diet, was up for it.

She took me to their favorite student-priced restaurant. Its name? Friends, I could barely remember my own. I felt myself disintegrating, practically hallucinating. I wasn’t sure I could make myself understood in English, let alone Italian. I was easy pickings. I don’t recall what the daughter ordered (pizza would be a safe guess). But I will never, ever forget this pasta. I took the first bite. My mouth dropped open. I gasped. I gently set my fork down in my plate and folded my hands in my lap. I very slowly said, “This. Is. The best thing. I have ever tasted. In my entire. Life.” The daughter, who’d been eating like that for a month, sort of shrugged – oh, that old thing – and tucked into whatever she had ordered. If this re-creation – I believe one says “avatar” these days – comes even slightly close to the one I tasted that night, you may get to experience some of what I did. And I really don’t believe it was the fatigue talking. Make it with and for people you love. Buon apetito.
boulangere

Serves 2 with leftovers; easily doubles or triples

  • 1/2 package spaghetti or bucatini
  • Sea or kosher salt
  • Good olive oil, and lots of it
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes of whatever colors are to hand, halved
  • 2 or 3 good sized cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can tuna packed in olive oil, not drained, opened, homage to Pierino who appreciates the value of very good canned tuna
  • A couple of generous handfuls of spinach leaves, stems pulled off
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon, Meyer if possible
  • Sea or kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • A good Parmesan or Romano cheese
  1. A note about the tuna: Italian tuna packed in olive oil is heavenly. There are many brands available. Ortiz is heavenly; Roland offers a decent one. That said, I live in Montana. When I want pasta, I don't want it when Amazon or anyone else can get tuna to me. I'm happy to to stop into World Market and buy Tonnino yellowfin for $2.95 a can. And a note about the cheese. No, it is not traditional to serve fishy pastas with cheese. But if you have to have Parm with your pasta, by all means go ahead. Just use it sparingly.
  2. Start heating a large pot of generously salted water (it should taste like the ocean). This comes together fast. Good for evenings when you need dinner to almost make itself.
  3. I had this over a spaghetti that was more like what we consider bucatini, so if you can find bucatini, grab it. No delicate, frail pasta allowed. The pasta has a front and center seat here. It’s not a mere conveyor of other flavors, it’s right out there with its arms around them all. Pull out about 1/2 of it from the package. Check the cook time. Set a timer for 3 minutes less than the recommended cook time. Drop the pasta into the water and begin making the sauce. Multi-tasking necessary here: keep a set of tongs to hand to gently move the pasta around so that it doesn’t sink and stick, and also to move the sauce ingredients about.
  4. Set a skillet over medium-high heat. It should be large enough to hold the sauce and pasta at the end. Force yourself to add 2 or 3 times as much good olive oil as you usually would.; we’re not “filming” any pans here. This is all about the bold flavors of delicate ingredients. Use a good 5 ounces.
  5. When the oil is hot (it’ll shimmer, or ribbon), add the halved tomatoes. They’ll cook along quickly, releasing those precious juices to concentrate in all that lovely olive oil. If the skillet is too spattery, turn the heat down a bit. As the tomatoes begin to soften, add the garlic. When it’s very fragrant, add the tuna and its oil. Break up any large chunks with a wooden spoon. Turn down the heat to a good simmer.
  6. When the timer goes off for the pasta, use tongs to lift it out of the boiling water and drop it directly into the skillet. Please trust me, it wants to be way more dente than al. It’s going to cook some more in the skillet. Dip out a couple of good ladles of pasta water and add to the skillet. Move everything around and together with your tongs. Toss in the spinach and add the lemon juice. Move everything around until spinach is just wilted. Taste the sauce before you season to taste with salt and pepper. Use your tongs to lift pasta out onto plates. Divide any remaining sauce between them. Grate some good cheese over the top. Serve with slices of focaccia or baguette so that not one drop of sauce is left behind. You’ll be a happier person for it.
  7. As noted, this all comes together very quickly, so be on your toes. Thank God I didn’t have to make anything my first night in Florence, and thank heaven the daughter took me to it. It was worth the price of the entire trip to have tasted it. With my daughter. I was in heaven. George was on his own.
Jump to Comments (162)

Tags: Florence, Italy, pasta, spaghetti, tomatoes

Comments (162) Questions (1)

Default-small
Default-small
Default-small

13 days ago Chiara

I tweeted this recipe today with attribution (I hope)
It is heavenly.

Cakes

over 1 year ago Bevi

I made this tonight for my friends. They said they would be talking about this meal for months.

Dsc_0048b

almost 2 years ago healthierkitchen

I actually just made this again for my husband and me while my daughter (completely vegetarian now) was out. It is delicious, and so easy, and you don't want to waste a bit of the sauce.

Dscn2212

almost 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

No, not a drop! I'm glad you've enjoyed it so; thank you.

3-bizcard

almost 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I have made this so many times I couldn't begin to count and each time it seems more delicious than the last. I love this recipe!

Dscn2212

almost 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I love you, sdb! I made it just last night, and it took me, as usual, right back to that incredible first night with the daughter.

Cakes

almost 2 years ago Bevi

This has been served to an appreciative crowd many times. And my kids make it regularly - it's perfect for their budgets. And their pasta cravings.

Dscn2212

almost 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

All of the above apply to me and mine, too; I'm so glad to hear you all enjoy it! Thank you, Bevi.

Default-small

almost 3 years ago Mlouise

Maybe the tuna I used was too good....not very fishy. If I did again, I would probably add a tiny bit of anchovy paste or Unami. A perfect "pantry" dish as you usually have spinach or some green. Thanks!

Dscn2212

over 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

A touch of anchovy sounds lovely. I, too, think of it as a pantry dinner.

Default-small

almost 3 years ago soupandsong

My husband and I made something similar on one of our first nights in Tuscany on our honeymoon last fall, with good tuna in olive oil and the brightest red cherry tomatoes we'd bought at the local market. It was what we had on hand, and we had no idea that it was going to be as amazing as it was. It was seriously heavenly! The good italian tuna in olive oil is just plain dreamy compared to the stuff in cans. This brings back the sweetest memories, and I will definitely try your recipe, which looks delicious!

Dscn2212

over 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

What a sweet peek into a lovely time for you. Thank you for sharing it.

Life_as_art-_japanese_print_3

almost 3 years ago sel et poivre

I've always been skeptical over the idea of pairing tuna and pasta. The combinations I've had in the past never seemed to knock my tastebud. However, having a couple of good quality tinned tuna laying around in the pantry that needed some loving, I decided to give this a try for a quick dinner last night. But because I didn't have any spinach on hand, I steamed some yellow zucchini, pencil asparagus and white button mushrooms and added those in. The result? It was heavenly! I couldn't stop "tasting" the pasta out of the pot before finally setting them on the dinner table. My husband who usually prefers a more asian-type dish, kept on asking for seconds. This recipe is a winner and a sure keeper!

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I know just how you feel. And I love your combination! Thanks for sharing it. I hope you enjoy it as much and as often as we do.

Massimo's_deck_reflection_10_27_13

almost 3 years ago lapadia

Winner! :) ! :)

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Can't tell you how often we all make this. It has the happiest of associations. Not to mention an almost instant dinner ;0))

Sausage2

almost 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Second the motion! :)

Cakes

almost 3 years ago Bevi

YES!!!

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

You are all so kind! I'm very glad you enjoy it.

Massimo's_deck_reflection_10_27_13

almost 2 years ago lapadia

Oh! This lovely recipe is back...ditto to my prior comment! :)

Dscn2212

almost 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you, my dear!

Susan

almost 3 years ago Spoonandshutter

There have been so many wonderful comments, I'm sure I won't be able to say anything original or new. But I just started getting more "involved" with Food52 and loved reading your delightful story about arriving in Florence and discovering this delicious dish for the first time. I can almost taste it now, and if I hadn't already planned grilled skirt steak with chimmichuri for dinner I would be boiling the pasta water (well salted - yes!) this minute. Can't wait to make it tomorrow night!

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Your dinner tonight sounds absolutely wonderful! I hope you enjoy every bite of the spaghetti as much as we have. Welcome to food52. It's a great place to hang out.

Dsc_8677

almost 3 years ago ibbeachnana

No need to enter, as this is the best and most fabulous recipe, having it tomorrow for a friend who swore she heard my voice in Florence. Thanks again...

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Oh, come on now! So good you've taken on the job of being the Florence Whisperer and thank you for your kind thoughts.

Dsc_0048b

almost 3 years ago healthierkitchen

Glad to see you entered this! Making this again tonight!

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

On the menu in my kitchen Friday night! Thank you!

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I made this for the son and the daughter, both of whom I was so fortunate to have home for Christmas, a couple of nights ago. They totally got why it made (and still makes) me swoon. For Christmas my daughter even gave me photo of me eating it that first night in Florence.

Dscn3274

about 3 years ago inpatskitchen

I must tell you...I've made this 3 or 4 times since you have shared it with us and I just LOVE it...I used perciatelli instead of bucatani, but otherwise did exactly what you tell us to do. With your permission, I'd love to put a link to it on my little blog. Thanks again for a great recipe!!

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Oh, Pat, I would be so honored to be linked via your blog, which I did not know you have, so I'm going to be looking at it herewith. I make it all the time, too, and have used multiple pastas for it, so invent as you wish!

Dscn3274

about 3 years ago inpatskitchen

Thanks so much! The blog is nothing special, just something I started a little over a year ago with encouragement from my daughters (I think they just want to have all my recipes before I'm gone LOL)

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Actually, your blog is quite lovely.

Sit2

about 3 years ago Sam1148

Sam is a trusted home cook.

Update: I simmered fresh tuna in oil and garlic and thyme for amanda's bean salad. In hopes of saving the oil to use for this. The tuna was under seasoned and kind of bland and needed some salt, lemon juice/acid element and resting.

Unfortunately the oil didn't get used for the pasta as after some paprika and lemon juice it was all sopped up with bread.

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Oh, that poor oil that was all sopped up with bread.

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

For some reason the Reply arrow isn't working at the moment. Sam1148, it sounds like you've invented a brand new condiment with your infused oil. Thank you, drbabs - great article, and spot on.

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I tell students all the time that the recipe is not the voice of God. It's fluid, it's flexible. So your points of departure are perfect. I love the shrimp idea, and yes, no cheese there. Same with the chunks of ahi - I like that much more than the idea of searing it first. Thank you so much for posting your ideas. Keep 'em coming.

Sit2

about 3 years ago Sam1148

Sam is a trusted home cook.

I'm thinking of making Amanda's http://www.food52.com/recipes...
which calls for poaching the tuna in lots of olive oil and adding herbs and saving the left over oil.
That way, I should have some good tuna/herb/infused oil to use as a starting point for this pasta and next time I'll most likely be simmering fresh tuna in the reserved flavored oil instead of using canned tuna (which I still can't find economical good imported canned tuna here).

Img_0733

about 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thought y'all would enjoy this article:
http://www.nytimes.com...

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Yes, the tomatoes almost confit in the olive oil. You found me out on the olive oil. I routinely buy the Kirkland Organic Extra Virgin. When I was still in California, I fell in love with the California Olive Ranch oils. I can find them, believe it or not, at WalMart now in Montana. I'd been ordering it by the case from the source. Cost Plus World Market has some very good olive oils also at very good prices. Thanks very much for your comments, Sam1148.

Sit2

about 3 years ago Sam1148

Sam is a trusted home cook.

I hate to keep posting departure points for this recipe. But I think it's part of the discussion and how much I like it, your 'confit' comment made think of yet another application. The classic Spanish Ajillo tapas dish, in which raw shrimp and spices are covered with oil and broil or simmered.

Adding raw peeled shrimp at the final step to the oil/tomato/garlic sauce with some red pepper flakes and a touch of smoky paprika. (not sure about the cheese element with that one tho).
I would bet the raw tuna could be cubed and used in similar manner, simmered in the oil with the tomatoes. (one less pan to clean).
What a wonderful brainstorming recipe boulangere. It's defiantly in my arsenal of base recipes now.

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you, Sam1148 for such a thoughtful and thorough review. I picked up some ahi today to try with it this weekend. I've even left the tuna out and just made it vegetarian, and it's good. I get an Italian tuna packed in olive oil at Cost Plus World Market that is perfectly good in my book. I've tried the Costco canned salmon, nicely free of those annoying eyeballs, and I just didn't like it. It doesn't taste like salmon, which is a problem, and the texture was kind of like shredded newspaper. I love the idea of smoked trout, especially with the horseradish mayo. You're right - it's a good point of departure in many directions. Very glad you're enjoying it. Thank you.

Sit2

about 3 years ago Sam1148

Sam is a trusted home cook.

The technique of using the cherry tomatoes in lots of olive oil to meld them down for the sauce is the keeper technique here. You're very right in using lots olive oil. I was a bit shy about it. I probably need to get a spatter screen for the pan. For lurkers. I find the CostCo Kirkland brand extra virgin olive oil an excellent price/flavor deal.
The whole food 365 EV olive oil is also a 'best buy' in my book.

Sit2

about 3 years ago Sam1148

Sam is a trusted home cook.

I made this this weekend. Excellent recipe and technique.
Next time I'm uping the quantity of spinach..and using a milder cheese.
I couldn't find really imported canned tuna and use a mid-line centro brand. Which was 'okay'.
But I think searing a ahi tuna would be a perfect solution for those that can't find excellent canned tuna.
However the 'centro' brand was just fine.
Costco/Kirkland brand canned salmon might work well, as it's rather chunky and free of bones, eyeballs, and spines.

I love the base recipe and it's a keeper for me. I might even use some smoked vacpack trout with this. With a touch of horseradish mayo/cream instead of cheese element. That's why I love this dish---you can take off in many ways from the base recipe.

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I'm so glad to hear you liked it. I break out the really good olive oil for it, too. I've been thinking of trying it with some seared ahi. I'll bet your brown rice pasta was outstanding with it! Thank you so much.

Me

about 3 years ago wssmom

We made this earlier this week but in the website upheaval, didn't get a chance to comment! It was just lovely! We broke out the "really really good" [e.g. expensive] olive oil for this, and used a gluten-free brown rice pasta that totally stood up to the flavors. I literally had to pry the Spouse's fingers off the credit card to part with the $15 for the top-of-the-line tuna (we used Ortiz) and the difference in flavor was amazing. That being said, it still tasted like canned tuna, albeit very nice canned tuna. It would be interesting to try this with some line-caught tuna, although that would totally negate the whole concept behind the recipe LOL. Thanks for another good one!

Junechamp

about 3 years ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

D*mn, you write well, boulangère! bringing back all sorts of memories of that first meal, however long ago, in Firenze!

Not only that, but making me hungry @ 1:30 in the morning. This is going to be our dinner tomorrow night. Period.

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

It's the first meal anywhere new, isn't it, CJ? Thank you so much. As for tomorrow night, bon appétit!

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Just finished off a plate of this.

Default-small

about 3 years ago alisondcooper

I recently returned from Florence to be absolutely disappointed with American food - especially "Italian" restaurants. No longer! This recipe blew my mind. My first bite was as if I traveled back in time (and across the Atlantic!) to those small Florentine cafés. Many thanks. Ciao bella!

Zester_003

about 3 years ago pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

alisond, in Italy there is no such thing as an "Italian" menu Everything is microregional region to region and town to town. I've been to Firenze many times, although I've never stayed for very long. Traveling in Italy, you should always avoid the places offering a menu turistico and instead look for the cucina tipica no matter where it happens to be. I love Rome and I love Umbria (especially Gubbio) so I always go for the local stuff no matter what it might be. In Rome that might be lamb neck bones...

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

adc and pierino, I could not agree more with both of you. That's why this dish quite literally stopped me in my very jet-lagged tracks. I had never tasted pasta that was way more dente than al. The incomparable olive-oil packed tuna, the sweet tomatoes, it all dropped me to my knees. Microregional is the perfect description, pierino, for the true food of what the French call cuisine du terroir. adc, I'm so happy it was as transportive for you as it continues to be for me. The daughter returned to Boulder already plotting a way to return to Firenze for a longer time next summer, and I will not be surprised if she decides to move there to live and to dance. And eat gelato and pasta and pizza.

Default-small

about 3 years ago squishedandruined

I work at http://www.zingermans.com ! Every summer (usually the month of July) our Ortiz tuna goes on sale, this year it was available by the case... 30 tins for $120. Small price to pay for such excellence... right? Haha. Everything from the Ortiz line is so luxurious.

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Wow, lucky, lucky you! Zingerman's is amazing.

Default-small

about 3 years ago squishedandruined

Oops-apologies for the apparent obsession I have with touting my love for Ortiz!

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

LOL!

Default-small

about 3 years ago squishedandruined

I buy Ortiz tuna from the case at my workplace, so you can bet I am going to try this as soon as possible. Thank you for the lovely story, and I love your recipe style. I remember feeling the same way about a pasta dish in Rome when I visited.

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Where do you work!?! Thank you so much - those food memories are deep ones.

Default-small

about 3 years ago squishedandruined

I buy Ortiz tuna from the case at my workplace, so you can bet I am going to try this as soon as possible. Thank you for the lovely story, and I love your recipe style. I remember feeling the same way about a pasta dish in Rome when I visited.

Default-small

about 3 years ago squishedandruined

I buy Ortiz tuna from the case at my workplace, so you can bet I am going to try this as soon as possible. Thank you for the lovely story, and I love your recipe style. I remember feeling the same way about a pasta dish in Rome when I visited.

Cakes

over 3 years ago Bevi

I made this for dinner last night. What a wonderful combination of flavors! It was worth hunting down the Ortiz tuna. All the ingredients blended beautifully yet stood on their own.
Thanks for a great recipe that I will be making for my children when I visit them this month.

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you so much, Bevi - enjoy your children!

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

And I totally agree that it's worth chasing down good tuna. My son and the lovely Malary come for Thanksgiving, and my daughter for Christmas. It turns out that this year I'll have all of them for Thanksgiving and the daughter for Christmas. This will be on the menu for both at some point.

Me_and_katie_graduation

over 3 years ago ChefMommy

I am going to make this for my mom. Hopefully it will turn out as beautifully for me as it did for you. Thank you for sharing this piece of your life, I have always admired it. Grazie

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Oh, it is so simple and wonderful that I have no doubt that it will turn out beautifully for you.

Default-small

over 3 years ago eternalgradstudent

We're going to northern Italy this month on vacation, so I made this for dinner last night as an appetizer! It was perfect and so easy!! Thanks for the lovely recipe :)

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Oh, I envy you mightily. Have a wonderful trip, and eat well!

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I'll get the name of the restaurant from the daughter and post it here. She gave their pizzas a huge thumbs-up as well.

Dsc_8677

over 3 years ago ibbeachnana

Wonderful dinner!

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you so much!

Fb

over 3 years ago BlueKaleRoad

A gorgeous dish and story! Welcome home, and what an amazing time you and your daughter must have had together.

P.S. Can I move in, too? I'm all caught up on ER. :)

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

We did, we did. And yes, you've met the minimum requirement. LOL!

Me

over 3 years ago wssmom

Lake Como, George Clooney, tuna, your daughter, pasta ... it all comes together so beautifully!!!

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thanks ; )

Alinasorescu

over 3 years ago bistro_gal

Dear Boulangere,

The dirty dishes are still on the table, the pots are still on the stove and I am in front of the computer because I had to tell you right away that this is one of the best pasta I have ever had. Everyone in my family licked their plates. None of the kids whined. It was simply just as good as you described it. Thanks for sharing.

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Oh, I wish I could drop in and do your dishes for you! You are so precious for sharing your family's experience with it. Nothing fills my heart more than hearing that someone loved it as much as I did with the daughter. And I made it for dinner again last night.

P.S. My dad, who died 2 years ago this January, did his BS and MS degrees at Texas A&M. He would get tears in his eyes whenever he heard the marching band play their fight song. You're in a very good place. Buon apetito!

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

And another P.S. There is NO greater marching band!

Alinasorescu

over 3 years ago bistro_gal

We are in a very good place indeed and it is people like your dad who made it so. Aggies are the best. Thank you for your kind note and for sharing your amazing recipe.

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

OMG, I was practically weaned on 35 rpm recordings of the Aggies fight song. And the annual Thanksgiving Day game against Texas! Some traditions are too great to let go and some are too wonderful not to let in. This dinner with my daughter is one of the latter. I am so glad to have potentially passed along a new dinner to you and your sweet family.

Default-small

over 3 years ago nice rice

thank you for this delicious sounding recipe ,I have been to Florence and every time someone speaks of it I become melancholy . It is beautiful !!! I can't wait to taste this with my mouth . thank you again ...

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Oh, goodness, I'm so glad to encounter another who is nostalgic for Florence! The color of the light, the sounds along the Arno day and night, and the flavors . . . . . A great pleasure to share.

Massimo's_deck_reflection_10_27_13

over 3 years ago lapadia

Mangiare! Mangiare!

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Salute!

Gator_cake

over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

This sounds like the most perfect meal ever! Love, love, love your headnote. Glad to have you back!!

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you so much, and it's good to be back.

Cakes

over 3 years ago Bevi

I have goosebumps. Am headed to the nearest burg with a glimmer of hope of finding a decent can of tuna.

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Happy hunting!

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

How did the great tuna hunt go?

Cakes

over 3 years ago Bevi

I have been waylaid by a mountain of blueberries and a crate of peaches. But a trip is in the near future....

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Oh poor you. Have fun with them all!

Cakes

over 3 years ago Bevi

Frozen yogurt, canned peaches, combinations of jams, peach salsa, etc. etc.

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Yu-u-u-u-m!

Zester_003

over 3 years ago pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

Pierino is a fictional character (like George Clooney) who bears no resemblance to anyone in real life, living or dead. Just a ghost in the machine.

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Note to self.

Chris_in_oslo

over 3 years ago Greenstuff

Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking

I have EVERYTHING for this dish! I have the tuna with its vintage written on the label. I have bucatini. I have good olive oil, and lots of it. So, the only remaining question is whether we should have it when we get back from from our weekend travels or our week-day ones. Of course those options would require re-stocking the cherry tomatoes and the spinach. So hmm, maybe tonight after the movie. I will report back!

And boulangere, thank you for sharing your daughter with us! It's even better than the pasta, plus I'm relieved that it's not you who looks so young. Yes, I did think that for a minute.

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

So kind you are! Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! That we should all be so lucky as she . . .

Please report back on your actual consumption and I sincerely hope it is a pleasurable as ours. And the photo is definitely of the daughter!

Chris_in_oslo

over 3 years ago Greenstuff

Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking

We did indeed have it last night after getting home from the movies. It's a great late night supper. I had never used your technique--taking the pasta out early and then using that much pasta water in the sauce. My husband's only complaint was that he would have eaten the whole dish all by himself.

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

LOL! Me, too. I'm making it again tonight for dinner. Really glad you enjoyed it.

Default-small

over 3 years ago Brokenfoodie

This daughter, this son is the light of my friend "boulangere". I know this first hand as I happen to be a close friend of hers and the George Watcher. How can you be close to Lake Como and Not Try To Look Up George! All kidding aside, this trip for mother and daughter (with the son on non-stop updates) is a trip for books. As you all can see, Boulangere has a natural gift for writing, so I suspect the future cookbooks will have a very personal story attached. Looking forward to more recipes, stories and love of life.

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Well, as the original for Find. George. my dear, there is much dissembling going on here. I know you love my son, I know you love my daughter, and i only hope you know how much we all love you. Food is love, love is food.

Me

over 3 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Love this and love your headnote story! I'm heading to Italy for a month (hopefully) next year and just can't wait. Welcome home - you and your food were missed! Saved this wonderful pasta recipe to make soon!!

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I'm small, I'll fold into a suitcase nicely.

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

And thank you kindly for the welcome home. As much as I love to travel, coming home is always sweet as, well, peaches.

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

And when you head off to Italy, please let us know your itinerary. The daughter intends to return next summer, and my sister in planning a trip to England and France. And as long as the daughter is in Italy, . . . . well, I trust you get my drift. Florence is a magically beautiful city.

Ozoz_profile

over 3 years ago Kitchen Butterfly

First up - adopt me. I love, love, love the headnotes. I love that you pay homage to pierino - for his Italianess....and I love the sound of this pasta. Welcome home.......and what's the story with George? Pray tell!

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

OMG, have we found the one person in the WORLD who doesn't know who George Clooney is?!?!?!?!?!? But thank heaven you know who pierino is - there's only one. I have a big house with two empty bedrooms, so come on over!

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

All right KB, please allow me to enlighten you. George Clooney is an American film and television actor. A fairly good one. And, I believe, a reasonably intelligent person. Possessing a decent sense of humor, even about himself. Fine, whatever. HIs principal role in life is to be unbelievably, unreasonably, unaccountably..... gorgeous. He has a villa on Lake Como. In Italy. Where he spends the summer, as any of us would if we owned villas on Lake Como. In Italy. Where George Clooney spends the summer.

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Once the adoption papers are final, you will be required to watch Netflix reruns of ER, as well as several movies. Just so you know what you're getting into.

Me

over 3 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

And last I read, he's available again, ladies.....

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Plug it into your GPS: Lake Como

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Kitchen Butterfly, you are oddly silent here . . . .

Img_7818

over 3 years ago EmilyC

What a lovely photo! Now I *really* want to make this!

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Oh, do, Emily! And I'd love to know how you like it.

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I know you have young ones, and, seriously, this takes minutes start to finish. I've never graduated beyond appreciation for the fast dinner when the circumstances dictate.

Img_7818

over 3 years ago EmilyC

You're oh so right. I'm always on the lookout for dishes like this one that are approachable AND special. This one so fits the bill. I'll definitely let you know when I try it!

3-bizcard

over 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

OMG, that looks so good I want it right now. I can't wait for the tuna to get here. If I can't get bucatini I think percatelli would be nice,

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Use what you like, SD, just be sure to generously undercook it. It needs to be seriously toothy. I've made it 3 or 4 times a week since I got back. My new(est) addiction. Enjoy that beautiful tuna.

Dscn3274

over 3 years ago inpatskitchen

Lovely story...lovely recipe...lovely daughter!!

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Oh, thank you so much, ipk ; )

Bike2

over 3 years ago Sagegreen

Nicely summarized, inpatskitchen!

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Gazie Sagegreen.

Default-small

over 3 years ago Jane Spaz

this sounds great. Just returned from Florence and never occured to me to try tuna and pasta with all the other great food. Now I will have to try this along with suggestion for poaching my own tuna. I live south of Boston and we get lots of fresh tuna this time of year. Can't wait. Thanks. Or.... just go back to Florence. Ciao

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Lucky you with fresh tuna so nearby. Much anticipating a return to Florence, possibly next summer with the daughter again. Ciao!

Junechamp

over 3 years ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Loved your story. Ah, the memories that conjured up!!! Nothing quite like Florence in the heat. Or "good tuna."

Grazie mille.

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Prego.

Img_1958

over 3 years ago gingerroot

Love this! Good oil packed tuna with tomatoes over pasta is one of life's simple pleasures. PS: I was fortunate to see George Clooney filming the movie The Descendants across the street from my grandfather's house (I went to high school with the author of the novel).

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you gingerroot, you lucky dog, you! Great story - I'll be sure to pass it on to Marci.

Lorigoldsby

over 3 years ago lorigoldsby

Thank you! For both the recipe and the memory and the delicious thought of having 10,000 calories a day in Florence!

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thanks, lori; she's wisely cut back since returning home.

Lorigoldsby

over 3 years ago lorigoldsby

Thank you! For both the recipe and the memory and the delicious thought of having 10,000 calories a day in Florence!

Dsc_0048b

over 3 years ago healthierkitchen

You brought me to Florence with you! Delicious!

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you ; )

036

over 3 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Recipe sounds amazing and right up my alley! Love the headnote - that European flight / stay awake delirium is just this side of hallucinogens.

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Yes, kind of like giving birth. You kind of forget so you can do it again. Thank you.

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Good question. I'll ask my daughter and let you know. She said their pizzas are to die for also.

Img_7818

over 3 years ago EmilyC

Love the recipe, story, and your hunt for Mr. Clooney!

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Our search for good food was consistently the more fruitful of the two. Thank you.

Zester_003

over 3 years ago pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

My standard for canned Tuna is As do Mar from Spain. However the best stuff I've tasted is Ortiz "conserva". This is line caught tuna which is packed within 24 hours of being reeled in. Then they let it "mellow" in the tin for years. It even has a vintage date on the box. I buy it at Surfas in Culver City, CA---and you can order from them on line. On the East Coast I'd forget about Incredible Shrinking Little Italy altogether and go to the Batali/Bastianich owned Eataly, 23rd and 5th, very close to the food52 boiler room.

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thanks, pierino. Everyone got that?

3-bizcard

over 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you I will search out the good stuff, Eataly is only a short train ride. I rarely go to Little (with the emphasis on little) Italy anymore but thought maybe I would find some good stuff. Thanks pierino. One of the reasons I rarely ever buy tuna is because of the difficulty in finding the good stuff.

Cimg0737

over 3 years ago cookinginvictoria

Another (although admittedly more time consuming) option is to poach your own tuna in olive oil and then let it marinate. I have made this recipe before from NY chef David Paternack and it is amazing. It would be fabulous with boulangere's pasta:

http://www.nytimes.com...

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you CIV. What a lovely idea.

3-bizcard

over 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks so much, I just ordered the ortiz conserva from Market Hall Foods. I can't wait to get it so I can make this.

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Loooooovely.

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

LOL!

Img_0733

over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Wow. Love your writing, love your recipe, can't wait to try it.

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I could almost eat it every night. Thank you.

Cimg0737

over 3 years ago cookinginvictoria

This pasta dish sounds heavenly. and oh so authentic. I love your story about dining in Florence with your daughter. And your recipe writing is priceless -- especially your directions to "force yourself to add 2 or 3 times as much good olive oil as you usually would.; we’re not “filming” any pans here. This is all about the bold flavors of delicate ingredients." I'd love to put that on a T-shirt!

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you so much. I'm all for new tshirts!

Dsc_0036

over 3 years ago Maxi

What a lovely pasta dish and an even lovelier story to go with it. Thanks for sharing!

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

In every way a pleasure, thank you.

Zester_003

over 3 years ago pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

Thank you for the tuna comment. Now I guess I'll have send you some of the really good stuff.

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

And I trust you've got some.

3-bizcard

over 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Where do you get the really good stuff? I can find some cans of tuna packed in olive oil in Little Italy but would really like to know what brand you recommend.

3-bizcard

over 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I love the story, I feel like I am there, I love the recipe and I can't wait to try and the picture of your daughter (I am assuming) is lovely also. You weave a wonderful story and make an amazing pasta dish.

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Yes, that is she. i really think it may actually be as good as I remember, given my weakened state. I've made it many times since I got home and each time takes me back. Thank you so much.

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

In the very ristorante.

3-bizcard

over 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Tuna cooked with tomtoes over pasta is heaven, I love it and have not had it for a very long time. I am so happy to see this recipe its like seeing an old friend,

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

;o), as AntoniaJames says.

Mrs._larkin_370

over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

This all sounds so lovely, boulangere. I feel as if I'm sitting with you in Florence eating this amazing meal.

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you kindly, mrsl. So do I.

Mrs._larkin_370

over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Boulangere, I must ask...what is the name of this restaurant?? I have friends traveling to Florence in September....

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I'm still waking up - posted your answer at the top rather than here. I'll ask my daughter. Be sure they know to try the pizzas, too. Can you hear me whimpering at the thought of September in Florence?