12 ounces dried fusilli, penne or similarly shaped pasta
4 to 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Generous pinch seeded, finely chopped fresh chili peppers or crushed red chili peppers (optional)
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 large handfuls fresh basil or cilantro leaves, torn into small pieces
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Lemon wedges for garnish (optional)
1. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
2. Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium heat, heat 6 tablespoons of oil. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chili peppers and lemon zest and sauté for 1 more minute. Remove from the heat; cover to keep warm.
3. In another skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil. Add the tuna medallions and cook, without turning, until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn and cook to the desired degree of doneness, 1 more minute for medium-rare.
4. Transfer to a cutting board; set aside to cool slightly. Cut the tuna into thin slices.
5. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Return the pasta to the pot. Add the hot oil mixture, lemon juice to taste, basil, salt, ample pepper (to your taste) and the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and toss gently to combine. If desired, add some of the reserved cooking liquid and/or additional oil. Taste and adjust the amount of chilies, lemon and basil accordingly.
6. Divide the pasta among individual plates and top each portion with tuna. Serve at once, with lemon on the side if desired.