Italy, has an historical tradition of fishing fresh tuna and is the second largest producer of canned tuna in Europe, after Spain: in 2014 the value of the sustainable tuna sector was 1.1 billion euros, with a stable production compared to 2013 of 67.300 tonnes and volume of exports which reached 20.655 tonnes (+ 14% than 2013).
How Italians eat it
Italy is one of the largest markets for the consumption of canned tuna (144.500 t, + 5% compared to 2013 of which 97.880 t is imported). Canned tuna is typically served with two foods that are worldwide cooking symbols of the Made in Italy: tomatoes and pasta. According to a survey commissioned by the National Fish canneries to Doxa it is consumed by 94% of the population and almost one in every two Italians (43%) eat it every week. Italian’s favorite dish with tuna is spaghetti with tuna, closely followed by rice salad (boiled rice served with tuna, vegetables, other ingredients depending on the cook’s taste, all seasoned with extra virgin olive oil). As for the best ingredients to serve it with, 31% of Italians like it with tomato, closely followed by pasta (27%), rice (16%), eggs (9%), peppers (4%) and artichokes (3%).
RECIPE: Spaghetti with tuna and tomatoes
Spaghetti, canned tuna, parsley, a clove of garlic, extra virgin olive oil.
How to prepare the sauce:
Fry the garlic in a pan with four tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, add the tuna and crumble it with a fork, after a few minutes add the tomatoes cut in half. Cook for 10 ', add salt, add the chopped parsley and cook for 5-10'. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water. When the spaghetti is cooked, drain them and mix with the sauce.