Seared Ahi Pappardelle with Citrus Cream

March 15, 2010

Continuing to work backwards on my meal to celebrate Rachel Peter’s birthday, here was the main event: seared ahi tuna over a nest of pappardelle noodles and a citrus cream sauce.

I’m actually surprised I haven’t had a chance to blog about seared ahi yet. While it’s not a frequent dish on our dinner table, it’s incredibly easy to prepare and a small amount can really up the ante on a dish, taking it from good to extraordinary!

In this preparation, the fish really shines. Seared to perfection and paired with flavors like garlic and lemon, it’s really ahi tuna at its very best.

Please enjoy!

Seared Ahi Pappardelle with Citrus Cream

1″ thick ahi tuna steaks (about 8 oz. per person)
Kosher salt and pepper

8 oz. dried pappardelle pasta, boiled al dente

2 T. unsalted butter
1/2 small shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 T. flour
1/2 c. half and half or heavy cream
1/4 c. water plus a little extra, reserved from the pasta cooking water
1 T. each lemon zest and lemon juice
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
Finely chopped chives or italian parsley, to garnish

  • Salt and pepper the ahi steaks, set aside.
  • Prepare pappardelle pasta and keep warm, reserving 1/4 c. of cooking water to add to the sauce.
  • In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. When butter is melted and foam has subsided, add shallots and saute for 30 seconds, then add garlic and saute for 30-60 seconds more until very fragrant and beginning to take on color.
  • Add a splash of white wine and cook for 60 seconds more.
  • Add flour and stir until smooth and cook for a full minute to allow the raw flour taste to subside.
  • Add cream and pasta water and stir until a smooth sauce forms. Bring to a simmer and cook for 60 seconds. The sauce will thicken. If it is too thick for your taste, add a little more pasta water.
  • Toss sauce with pasta and set aside. Reserve a little sauce for each dish to top the tuna.
  • In a heavy skillet over medium-high heat, add 2 T. cooking oil, such as canola or peanut, then wipe the pan out with a paper towel to leave thin coating of oil on the pan.
  • When oil just begins to smoke, add ahi steaks. Don’t move them for 2 minutes, until the bottom is nicely seared. Turn over and sear for another 90 seconds to 2 minutes.
  • Slice the tuna into 1/2″ strips, then place on top of pasta and drizzle extra sauce. Garnish with asparagus spears and chopped chives.
  • Serve immediately, perhaps alongside a nice green salad (also pictured below).


  1. This looks amazing. I just recently stumbled on my dad’s “classic” tuna casserole recipe:

    1 bag Lays classic potato chips, crumbled
    1 can tuna, drained
    1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup

    Combine, bake and serve.

    I think your tuna looks a bit more appetizing… 🙂

    • I’m not sure I’ve just been complimented here, but…thank you?

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