Jamie Oliver’s affiliation with Royal Caribbean is something we are all thankful for.

In November last year, the Naked Chef made a splash when he opened his first restaurant at sea, Jamie’s Italian.

“Royal Caribbean shares my approach to food and dining, which is to serve simple, fresh ingredients in a warm, inviting ambiance,” explains Jamie. “Throughout my childhood, every three years, my dad would save up and we’d go on a Royal Caribbean cruise. I never thought I’d have my own restaurant on board!”

Between cruises, get the true taste of Italy with Jamie’s recipe for Tonno di Nonna Fangitta (poached tuna with Sicilian tomato sauce)

Serves 4-6

400g MSC-approved yellowfin or skipjack tuna fillet

1kg ripe mixed-colour tomatoes

3 garlic cloves

1 red chilli

2 sprigs of rosemary

olive oil

4 anchovy fillets

1 heaped teaspoon dried oregano

1 cinnamon stick

a small handful of capers, rinsed

2 x 400g cans good-quality plum tomatoes

320-480g wholewheat spaghetti

½ bunch of basil

sea salt and freshly ground black


Firstly, you need a pot that your tuna will fit into snugly, so that it poaches completely submerged. Putting the tuna aside, place the pot on a high heat and fill with boiling water from the kettle. Plunge in the fresh tomatoes and leave for just 40 seconds, then drain in a colander and place into a bowl of cold water to cool. Peel off the skins, then remove the seeds and cores and very roughly chop the flesh.

Use a sharp knife to stab eight holes into the tuna at an angle. Finely slice the garlic with the chilli. Stuff one slice of garlic, one slice of chilli and a pinch of rosemary leaves into each incision.

Return the empty pot to a medium heat and add a little oil, along with the remaining garlic, chilli and rosemary leaves, and the anchovies, oregano, cinnamon and capers. Slowly fry until lightly golden. Add the fresh and canned tomatoes, breaking them up with a wooden spoon (I tend to use my hands). Bring to the boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer and cook for 10 minutes.

Season the sauce well, then carefully add the tuna, pushing it down until completely submerged. Put the lid on, slightly ajar, and simmer very gently for 25 minutes (depending on the thickness of your tuna). You’ll know it’s cooked through when you can easily flake it apart. Remove from the heat, discard the cinnamon stick and check the seasoning.

Cook the pasta in a large pan of salted boiling water, according to packet instructions. When the pasta is almost ready, flake the tuna apart. Drain the spaghetti and toss with the tuna and sauce in the hot pan. Pick the basil leaves and tear over the pasta, then serve.

The leftovers (if there are any) are delicious on toasted bruschetta with a cheeky fried egg on top.

Recipe & image taken from MasterChef: The Masters at Home (Bloomsbury, $45), available from July 1