Deliciously simple, this Easy Sicilian Style Tuna Pasta is my easy peasy take on the traditional Italian dish of Pasta Puttanesca.
Last week I shared with you one of my favourite easy peasy pasta dishes: Gargano Pasta with Spinach and Blue Cheese Sauce, and it got me thinking how I have a whole gaggle of easy pasta dishes up my sleeve that I have never shared on Easy Peasy Foodie – how remiss of me! I think it’s because, since starting my blog, I’ve got so excited about developing new dishes, I’ve forgotten to share some of my old faithful ones. So over the coming weeks, expect to find a selection of my tried and trusted favourites popping up.
This dish, I think began as a Jamie Oliver recipe a very long time ago, but has seen many revisions and adaptations over the years and has truly passed the test of time. It’s such a great stress-free dish – perfect for those evenings when you are just too busy or too tired to spend more than a few minutes preparing dinner. It uses mainly store cupboard ingredients too, so it’s a great one to rustle up if your dinner plans don’t work out – in fact this is a meal I often do when my plans change or when I have one of my funny turns and forget to buy the ingredients for the meal I was planning! 😉
It might be quick and easy to make, but the flavours of this dish are to die for…anchovies, garlic, chilli, capers and black olives bring so much flavour to a simple dish of tomatoes, tuna and pasta. Just add a sprinkle of basil, a squeeze of lemon and a twist of black pepper and you have yourself a meal that wouldn’t be out of place in a fancy Italian restaurant…in under 20 minutes!
The pasta sauce can also be used as a pizza topping or thrown over a baked potato – so why not make yourself a double quantity and then that’s lunch sorted for the next day too!
If you are not a fan of anchovies, you can miss them out…but do bear in mind that they dissolve down into nothing and you can’t really taste the anchovies in the finished sauce, but they give the dish a lovely richness and depth. Oh and if you find yourself with any leftover anchovies, you can freeze them and use them straight from frozen in your next batch – I do this frequently!
Now this is a dish that (in my humble option) was made for wine…and surprisingly it goes really rather well with Sauvignon Blanc – especially a gutsy New Zealand one, but if you’d rather stick to red, I suggest something like Montepulciano d’Abbruzzo or Sangiovese di Toscana or you could stay with the Sicilian theme and try a Sicilian Nero d’Avola.
Easy Sicilian Style Tuna Pasta
- 25 g anchovy fillets in olive oil freeze any leftovers for next time
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 4 tablespoons black olives halved
- ½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes or more if you love chilli!
- 2 cloves garlic sliced or crushed
- 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
- Black pepper
- 300 g penne pasta or whatever shape you prefer
- 160 g tin tuna chunks or steak drained
- Juice of half a lemon
- Small handful of basil chopped
Put the anchovies and a little of the anchovy oil in the pan and heat over a very low heat, breaking up the anchovies with a spoon.
Next, add the capers, olives, garlic and chilli to the pan. Cook everything, stirring regularly, for about 2 minutes, until the anchovies have dissolved completely and the garlic is cooked but not burnt.
Add the tin of tomatoes and black pepper and bring to the boil, then turn down to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally.
Next, put your pasta on to boil. Cook the pasta until it is just al dente – this should take about 10 minutes.
When your pasta is about a minute away from being ready, add the tuna to the sauce along with the lemon juice and half the basil. Stir and break up the tuna a little, but not completely.
Drain the pasta and tip it into the sauce, along with a tablespoon or two of the cooking water.
Stir everything together and serve scattered with the rest of the basil and a couple of extra twists of black pepper.
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