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David Standridge’s Tuna Bolognese

Tuna Bolognese recipe by David Standridge

Tuna Bolognese recipe by David Standridge

David Standridge's Tuna Bolognese

David Standridge
Course Dinner
Servings 4 people


  • 1 pound Dry rigatoni or 2 pounds fresh

For the Tuna Blood Sausage

  • 1 pound tuna bloodline and scraps (your fish monger will have this but be surprised you are asking for it)
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1/2 cup chili paste, (1 part each: ancho, passilla and Chipotle) or 3 Teaspoons chili powder)
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the Sauce

  • 2 32-oz cans whole peeled tomatoes (My mother will be mad if you don’t make sure they are actually from Italy, check the can!)
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil


To make the tuna blood sausage

  • Grind the tuna blood line and scrap in a meat grinder. Mix in all the spices and refrigerate overnight.

To make the sauce

  • Heat a large sauce pot (something with a heavy bottom about 9” diameter) until very hot. Add the grapeseed oil and wait until just starting to smoke. 
  • Sear the ground tuna all at once and stir/scape the bottom of the pan until it is all seared (about 3 minutes). Remove tuna and refrigerate.
  • Add extra virgin olive oil to pan and sautee onions and garlic until translucent. Add tomato paste and stir until oil is absorbed and then released back. Add canned tomatoes and then fill each can with water and add to pot.  (The water allows the tomatoes to cook for a longer time, which helps the tomatoes break down). Simmer, stirring every 15 minutes until reduced by 1/3 (about 40 minutes to 1 hour).
  • Add the tuna back to the sauce and bring to a boil. Turn off heat. Add salt and pepper to taste and then chop a handful of basil and parsley and stir into the sauce.

Cook the pasta

  • Boil some water and season until it tastes like the ocean. Add rigatoni and cook to al dente. Strain and top/toss with tuna bolognese. Top with more fresh herbs.


Chef David StandridgePublished with permission from David Standridge, Executive chef at The Shipwright's Daughter in Mystic, Conn. 
Keyword Pasta, Seafood, Tuna

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