top of page
  • Writer's picturePasta Grammar

Spaghetti alla Bolognese | The REAL Italian Recipe

The idea of "spaghetti bolognese" has become a bit of a joke in Italy, as the famous ragù is NEVER paired with spaghetti. There is, though, a real recipe from Bologna called "spaghetti alla bolognese." It's not made with ragù, rather... canned tuna.

The REAL Spaghetti alla Bolognese | Tuna FIsh Pasta

We know that canned tuna doesn't always have a stellar reputation (at least in the US), but look for whole chunk tuna in oil and you'll be surprised at how good this pasta is!

Watch the Pasta Grammar recipe where we make this video here:

Serves 2.

For this recipe, you will need:

- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, plus some extra for drizzling

- 1/4 large white onion, diced

- 1 can (~5 oz. or 140g) whole chunk tuna under oil, drained

- 1/4 cup (60ml) dry white wine

- 3 canned whole peeled tomatoes, plus a few spoonfuls of the purée from the can

- Salt

- Fresh black pepper

- 5.5 oz. (160g) spaghetti pasta

- Chopped parsley for topping

Put a large pot of water for the pasta on to boil. As it comes up to temperature, begin making the sauce.

In a large skillet, bring the olive oil up to medium/high heat on a stovetop. Add the diced onion and sauté until the onion is tender and slightly transparent.

Next, add the tuna fish and break it into a fine crumble with a wooden spoon. Pour in the wine and bring to a simmer. Cook for a couple of minutes—until the smell of alcohol has dissipated.

Add the tomatoes and break them apart as they cook. Salt and pepper the sauce to taste. As the sauce simmers, add a small ladleful of pasta water as needed to maintain moisture in the pan.

Salt the boiling water generously and add the pasta. Cook as directed, but for 2-3 minutes less than the recommended "al dente" cook time. When the pasta is ready, use tongs to transfer it into the sauce.

Turn up the heat and stir all together for several minutes until the pasta is al dente to your taste. Add pasta water into the pan as needed to maintain moisture.

Serve immediately, topped with some spoonfuls of extra sauce from the pan, a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkle of chopped parsley. Buon appetito!

14,234 views3 comments

Recent Posts

See All



OMG! and Wow! Your recipes are to die for! So easy, so delicious, your the best cook ever! I used; Pomi organic chopped tomatoes from Italy, La Molisana spaghetti from Italy, Lidl albacore tuna packed in olive oil a product of Spain. Perfecto! I need this for my cardio diet with tuna and no beef! I'm 67YO and this old dog is learning new tricks! Greetings from North Carolina Michael and Yvonne Willsey ( PS: I know, I know, I did bad, fish no cheese! But we love our cheese so much! Forgive me Italy!)


Jennifer Curran
Jennifer Curran

Honestly I was surprised by just how good this recipe was! Oil packed tuna is a game changer. This is a great weekday recipe, thanks for sharing!



Made this for dinner tonight. I was happy for a new recipe I could make with ingredients I already had on-hand. I think it turned out well, though it tasted a bit like tuna casserole so I added some Old Bay seasoning. Thank you!

bottom of page