Nadia Munno's Ingredient Hack That Reduces The Smell Of Canned Tuna - Exclusive

Something smells fishy — and it's definitely that tuna sandwich you packed for lunch. Canned tuna is an acquired taste that is easily off-putting, given the aroma that it emits right when you crack open the tin. Despite its debatable scent, the food is very versatile and can be thrown into salads, seafood pastas, and even a homemade mac and cheese. And TikTok's self-proclaimed pasta lover, Nadia Munno, explained that the canned tuna smell can actually be remedied with one simple trick.

During an exclusive interview with Tasting Table to discuss her upcoming attendance at the South Beach Wine & Food Fest, Munno — aka The Pasta Queen — revealed that canned tuna is one of her go-to pasta ingredients. The social media star, who is native to Rome, typically includes the fish in a puttanesca sauce (typically made up of anchovies, olives, garlic, chile flakes, tomatoes, and capers). "If you're a little bit put off by the smell of tuna, you can kill it instantly," she explained — and the best part is, it only takes a few moments. 

A lemon does wonders

As it turns out, lemons are the key to breaking that intense fish odor. "You take the tuna, you drain it off, and then you squeeze a whole lemon on it," Nadia Munno told Tasting Table. "It makes it a lot milder and it doesn't give off [the smell]," she continued. 

According to the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, canned tuna stinks because it is precooked before it is processed and stored on grocery shelves. This process can lead to the build-up of histamine, which is an amino acid that is produced in fish — like mackerel, herring, sardines, and tuna, which all have naturally occurring high amounts of the amino acid, leading to a fishier smell. Munno claimed, "Some tuna is a lot fresher, and it doesn't give off that fishiness," but squeezing a lemon does "neutralize it a bit," should the smell be overwhelming.

This canned tuna hack can also be utilized in dishes like deviled eggs, pasta salad, tuna salad, and a tuna sandwich, per the Pasta Queen's advice. We have to admit — canned tuna has never been kind to our noses, but we are willing to try out Munno's easy lemon method during our next coastal-oriented pasta night.

Nadia Munno, aka The Pasta Queen, will be appearing at FoodieCon at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival on February 25. Keep up with her latest recipes on TikTok and Instagram.