While everything is going on, even a quick run to the grocery store has become a great feat. So, it seems like a great time to use up those items in your pantry. Something that I almost always have in my cabinet? Canned tuna.
Now, I too love a great tuna sandwich, but tuna salad gets boring after a while, amirite? Enter “Tuna Pasta Puttanesca” — this hearty, comforting pasta dish pulls double duty as not only a delicious dinner, but also uses up ingredients you might not have even remembered you had! Tomatoes, olives, capers, and our star ingredient, TUNA, make this easy meal a crowd pleaser and it’s packed with protein so will feed about 4 or 2-3 very hungry people!
Tuna Pasta Puttanesca
- 1lb of pasta (traditionally made with Spaghetti, but you can use any pasta)
- 28oz can of crushed tomatoes or your favorite jar of tomato sauce
- 1 tbsp dried basil
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp of minced garlic or 3-4 cloves finely chopped
- 1 tin of anchovies in oil
- 1 small jar of capers, halfway drained
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup of olives — your favorite kind
- 2-3 tbsp of tomato paste
- 2 cans of tuna fish
- Olive oil
- 1-2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- Put a pot of water (at least 6-8 cups) on medium-high heat to start heating up.
- In a flat sauté pan (with at least a 1/2 inch lip), add some olive oil and put over medium heat until the oil starts to shimmer.
- Add the anchovies 1-2 at a time to the oil, so they start to “melt.”
- Once the anchovies start breaking down, add the garlic and use the back of your spoon to spread out.
- Once the garlic starts to brown, add all the herbs and red pepper flakes until you begin to smell the aroma of the herbs coming off the pan.
- Add the tomato paste and break up with your spoon.
- After 3-4 minutes, add the capers and olives, including half of the caper brine.
- Let this cook for a few minutes until there is only a little bit of liquid left, and it is mostly solid and mixed in with the tomatoes.
- Add the can of crushed tomatoes and give this a big stir to blend everything.
- Once this mixture comes to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low.
- In the meantime, your water should have come to a boil — make sure it’s a rolling boil!
- Add a big handful of salt to the water — this step is needed to not only season the pasta but also help the sauce come together later from the starch that comes off the pasta.
- Add the pasta to the water and give it a swirl.
- Add the tuna to the tomato mixture and mix it into the sauce.
- Cook pasta for about 10 minutes, stirring every so often to separate strands/pieces.
- Once pasta is al dente (still has a slight bite), add it directly to the saucepan along with a little bit of pasta water (make sure you reserve some more pasta water for later), and bring the heat to medium/medium-high.
- Toss pasta in the sauce and heat through for a few minutes so the flavors can come together.
- Serve yourself a big bowl of Tuna Pasta Puttanesca — you did it! Yum!