Penne with Tuna and Tomato Sauce

This one’s an oldie, but a goodie. I have been making this recipe for over 10 years as my go-to weeknight meal. This recipe requires no pre-washing, no chopping, no pealing or pre-making. Just boil water, cook the pasta and mix a few staple ingredients with tomato sauce (homemade or store bought) to kick up the flavour. It’s not fancy or complicated, but you will make a weeknight meal that will make you feel like it’s Sunday night dinner at Mom’s house (well, at least at my Mom’s house). And I know you must be thinking do tuna and tomato sauce even go together? The answer is yes. Tuna and tomato sauce go beautifully together. Throw in the lemon zest and capers for a salty zing and you won’t believe how great a meal you made for so little effort. Special thanks to Giada De Laurentiis who I have been borrowing this recipe from and passing it along for years. Thanks Ms G!

Giada De Laurentiis’ Pasta with Tuna and Tomato Sauce

Ingredients (serves 6)

1 pound penne (you can use fusilli or any short pasta)

1 (26-ounce) jar tomato sauce, or other purchased marinara sauce

2 (6-ounces each) cans tuna packed in oil, drained

1 tablespoon drained capers

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves


Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the tomato sauce, tuna, capers, and lemon peel in a heavy large skillet. Using a fork, break the tuna into chunks. Simmer to blend the flavors, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Add the pasta to the sauce and toss to coat. Toss the pasta with enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Stir in the parsley and serve. If not using all the sauce, allow it to cool completely and pour 1 to 2 cup portions into freezer plastic bags. This will freeze up to 6 months.




2 thoughts on “Penne with Tuna and Tomato Sauce

  1. Nice articles Cristina! I make a similar dish with pre roasted chicken pieces from the deli aisle, that comes vacuum packed by Lilydale’s. Normally I pack sandwiches for monday and tuesday. Then fry up the rest for the pasta dish later in the week.


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