Fennel and orange zest complement one another as well as the pantry staples canned tuna, chickpeas, and tomatoes. If you don't happen to have fedelini on hand, spaghettini or vermicelli would be fine.

How to Make It

Step 1

In a large frying pan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the fennel seeds, the orange zest, and the salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute longer. Add the tomatoes and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Add the tuna and its oil and the chickpeas, cover, and remove the pan from the heat.

Step 2

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the fedelini until just done, about 6 minutes. Reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce, 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water, and the parsley. If the sauce seems too thick, add more of the reserved pasta water.

Step 3

Canned Tuna: Different brands of tuna vary tremendously. Here we use tuna packed in oil, and we count on that oil as part of the sauce. If your tuna has less than 1 1/2 tablespoons oil per can, add a little extra cooking oil to make up for the difference.

Step 4

Wine Recommendation: Wine with plenty of acidity will stand up to the fennel and tuna. A bottle of either Sancerre from the Loire Valley in France or sauvignon blanc from California will do nicely.

Quick From Scratch Pasta

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Ratings & Reviews

Elevates a humble can of tuna to a restaurant-caliber entree....

April 14, 2015
I suspected that the fennel seed and orange rind in this recipe would make this dish taste like something you'd order in a good restaurant and I was right. I used a blood orange because that's what I had but I imagine you could also use clementine rind if you have clementines lying around. I followed the recipe exactly but would recommend a few small changes. • Three-quarter pounds of pasta is too much; I'd go with one-half pound. Or cook three-quarter pounds but reserve some cooked pasta until you're sure of the sauce/pasta ratio. And rather than pair this with long pasta, as directed, I might try a short pasta like penne or mezze penne with this, since the sauce is more chunky / less saucy.• I added sliced black olives at the very end because tuna, canned or fresh, always seems to ask for olives. • NB that canned tuna is usually 5 ounces per can and this recipe calls for 6. • Don't drain the tuna. (I made that mistake...) Keep the oil that's in the can/jar for flavor. • This recipe isn't super-easy, but MUCH yummier than it is difficult.