This is all dressed up food crack. One bite and you’re hooked, because it’s a food experience that wakes up your senses and brings a lot of satisfying texture. Anchovies, crushed red pepper, garlic, capers, kalamata olives and Italian parsley come together to create a spicy, sultry, fabulous dish.
While Ahi Tuna is usually prepared with Asian flavors, Ahi works very well with a Mediterranean profile because it’s mild of flavor, yet meaty, bringing an incredible texture and balance to bigger, bolder flavors. It has a lot of heat, salt, and acid. The anchovy sauce by itself could be a bit overwhelming, but put it with pasta and back it up with a hazelnut crusted Ahi Tuna and everything balances out just wonderfully.
Once prepped, you can literally make this dish in under 15 minutes, but this is not fast food. This is dinner party food. This is a dish your friends will talk about and come back for more.
I’ve been meaning to make this dish that’s been in my head for over four years, but it took All-Clad to make it happen. When I agreed to create a recipe in exchange for receiving a 10 inch frying pan, I knew it was time. It takes this kind of pan to make the dish and it takes this kind of dish to show off this pan.
Why All Clad
Part of the joy of writing a blog is to inspire people back into the kitchen. I am serious about my cookware. I had already been a huge fan of All-Clad and for good reason. I have the 12 inch frying pan and it’s the secret to my perfectly seared golden scallops. My good fortune is that the ten inch pan had already been on my wish list, so I was not agreeing to accept something I wasn’t willing to purchase.
Before I talk recipe, I want to tell you why an All-Clad pan is a must in every kitchen. Made in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania with American steel, All-Clad is crafted to conduct heat evenly with no hot spots. Even at a low temperature, you can sear scallops to golden perfection or prepare a piece of Ahi Tuna in two minutes. It will be your go to pan for a quick sauté a toasting of nuts, caramelizing onions, making a wine reduction, finishing a pasta dish, or searing a steak and putting it into the oven to finish. This pan will most likely be the hardest worker in your kitchen, as long as you know how to cook with it. Many cooks think that to get that beautiful sear, you have to turn the heat up high, splash hot oil all over your kitchen and set off the smoke alarms. Not so with All-Clad.
How to Cook with All Clad Frying Pans
All-Clad suggests preheating a pan on low to medium heat for one to two minutes and testing the upper edge heat of the pan. If it is to hot, remove for a few minutes to cool down. In a moderately hot pan, pour in 2 to 3 teaspoons of cold oil, just enough to cover the pan. You want to hear a sizzle, not a crackle. The food should temporarily stick to the pan and needs to be left alone until it is ready to turn easily. The sugars in the food are caramelizing and the food will lift when you have a nice sear. When finished cooking, allow the pan to cool before immersing in water. Keep your pan looking brand new by using Bar Keeper’s Friend. However, your pan will not need a lot of maintenance if you stick with low to medium low heat.
Making the Dish
I put this recipe together with the idea of showing the versatility of the pan. I was able to toast the bread cubes, sear the tuna, make the olive anchovy sauce and finish the pasta dish all in the ten inch pan, and I made enough for four people to eat a medium sized portion.
First I made the bread crumbs by melting a little butter into the pan and cutting bread into very small cubes. If you use panko bread crumbs as an option, you can toast the crumbs in under a minute.
Next I made the tuna, first by turning the pan on medium low, and allowing it to heat before I put in the olive oil as suggested by All-clad. Once the tuna was made, and set aside, I used the pan to make the olive anchovy sauce, by melting in the anchovies, adding the crushed red pepper, parsley, chopped olives and capers, and garlic. The best part is the finish. Once the pasta is almost finished, it is drained (never rinsed) and tossed in the sauce to finish cooking, while maintaining a low heat.
- You could make the pasta without the tuna or you could substitute the tuna with seared scallops. But, this is truly an exciting and fresh way to incorporate a piece of Ahi Tuna into a dish.
- I used homemade breadcrumbs. You could substitute toasted panko bread crumbs, but be sure to toast them first (using this pan).
- I made a homemade pasta, but linguini or spaghetti would also be good choices.
Note: All-Clad provided this pan for this post.
- 2 pieces stale bread
- 2 teaspoons butter
- AHI TUNA
- ¼ cup crushed hazelnuts
- 1 pound Ahi Tuna
- finely ground sea salt, freshly ground black pepper
- OLIVE ANCHOVY SAUCE
- ⅓ cup olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon for cooking fish
- 3 anchovies, rinsed, patted dry
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon crushed red chili pepper
- 6 kalamata olives, seeded, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 4 tablespoons Italian parsley, finely chopped, divided saving 1 tablespoon for garnish
- ½ pound pasta (see note for recommendations)
- ¼ cup panko bread crumbs
- I used a 10 inch all-clad frying pan for breadcrumbs, tuna and sauce, cleaning each time in between.
- Cut bread into small cubes. Heat pan on low. Add butter, and when melted, add in bread cubes and pan fry until golden brown. Set aside.
- AHI TUNA
- Brush tuna with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, and pack on hazelnuts on top and bottom of tuna.
- Heat 10 inch frying pan on medium low heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When oil is hot, add Ahi Tuna and sear one minute on each side. Set aside.
- Cook Pasta: Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to directions, short of 1 minute. Drain.
- OLIVE ANCHOVY SAUCE
- Heat 10 inch frying pan. Add ⅓ cup olive oil. When oil is hot, add anchovies and break up with wooden spoon, until they melt into the oil.
- Add in crushed pepper, capers, kalamata olives. Cook for one minute. Add in garlic, parsley. Add tuna to pan and turn over once just to get the flavors. Remove tuna to a platter.
- Add drained pasta to olive oil anchovy sauce and finish cooking on low heat for a minute until pasta is cooked.
- Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- Put pasta on a serving platter. Toss with ½ cup of bread crumbs, crumbling some of the cubes with your hands. Top with tuna.
- Sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately.