Recipe for Pasta with Tuna Sauce

Pasta is always a wonderfully tasty and easy supper dish, especially when you’re short of time. This tuna sauce recipe for penne or spaghetti is a classic Italian sauce, full of flavour and very satisfying. The great thing is it’s very simple to make and can be made from store cupboard staples, when you have run out of everything else. Do try to include the parsley if you possibly can, as it makes all the difference to the end result. Definitely worth keeping a pot of parsley on a window sill or balcony just for this recipe!


½ clove garlic peeled and chopped finely

5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped

300g / 10 oz tinned Italian tomatoes, chopped

285g / 10oz tinned tuna preferably packed in olive oil

Salt and pepper

40g / 1 ½ oz butter

450g / 1lb penne pasta

Sauté the chopped garlic in all the olive oil, over a medium heat. When it is lightly coloured (don’t let it turn dark or this will make the sauce bitter) add the chopped parsley and cook, stirring, for just under a minute.

Immediately add the tomatoes together with their juice. Lower the heat, stir it together well and cook uncovered, until the tomatoes have reduced and they separate slightly from the oil. At a gentle simmer this should take 20 – 25 minutes.

At this point you can cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water according to the time on the packet or until al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, stir the tuna into the tomato sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper and simmer for a few minutes. Turn off the heat and then stir in the butter just before tossing the sauce with the cooked pasta. Serve immediately.

Discover a whole range of wonderful pasta sauces at Italian restaurants in Northamptonshire. Check out our restaurant listings and book a great evening out.

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