Marcella loves canned tuna!

In my post about tuna and white bean salad, I made reference to Italian cookbook maven Marcella Hazan, and today, I received an email from Marcella herself. Guess what? She not only gives us permission to use canned tuna, she says that she actually prefers it to fresh! Never feel guilty opening a can of tuna again. She agrees with my choice of Ortiz, a Spanish tuna.

However, she does take issue with adding any other ingredients to the salad. I added fresh parsley, a few snips of rosemary, tomato and chopped celery, which I loved. But don't worry, Marcella. I promise if you ever drop by my house for tuna and white bean salad, I will follow your recipe to the letter. I'll even soak the beans!

Here is her note:. 

Dear Maureen,

Thank you for your flattering reference to me in your column last week. I wish, however, that you hadn’t suggested that I prefer fresh to canned tuna in that salad. It was David Tanis, who also did a piece on tuna and beans salad for the Times, who claimed that fresh tuna was a better choice than canned, and I took strong issue with him. Fresh tuna is never as tasty as high quality canned tuna in olive oil, and your recommendation of Ortiz – which is Spanish, incidentally - is one I agree with. I don’t agree with all the other ingredients you have added. They do not improve the taste of the salad, but distract from the clarity of flavor of the tuna, beans, and raw onion, which are the only necessary components, aside from the dressing of course.

My best wishes.


Marcella Hazan
1211 Gulf of Mexico Dr., Apt 109
Longboat Key, Fl 34228

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