Albacore, simple tomatoes and chunky pasta. These three ingredients combine for a truly fresh and satisfying meal, plus the entire recipe comes together in one pot in just 30 minutes… excellent reasons right there to love Tuna with Simple Pasta Sauce. But the addition of two kinds of cheese, red pepper flakes, olives and capers, now you have really special meal of pasta with tuna.
So many different tastes and textures going on here. The albacore tuna is mild, tender and flaky, rich, saucy tomatoes and garlic have been cooked right into the pasta to add flavor to every chunky bite. Parmesan is sharp and salty while feta is mild and creamy. And the contrast of the briny capers with the subtle bright heat from red pepper flakes… I should have your attention right about now.
But I also mentioned that this is a simple one pot meal. Let’s take a look…
Starting with a fresh tomato at the beginning gives a nice sweetness to the dish. The tomato caramelizes easily in the oil, creating a bit of crusty flavor in the sauce. Once the sliced tomato begins to break down…
…then we’re ready to add the canned tomatoes, pasta and red pepper flakes. The dried pepper flakes are important and won’t make the dish too hot, I promise…
This all gets stirred with a bit of fresh Parmesan and water. Then just cover everything up and simmer till the pasta is al dente’. Use any pasta you like, but since the rich tomato flavor gets cooked right into the pasta, you want something substantial like Ziti…
After the pasta has cooked, this dish could be served as is for a nice vegetarian pasta meal. But this recipe is called TUNA with Simple Pasta Sauce. So, along with some good quality tuna, add powerhouse flavors that are capers, kalamata olives and feta.
You can mix the tuna into the hot pasta or nest it on top…
The dish is simple, but the flavors work so well together that you have a complex, satisfying taste in every bite. Delicious served hot or cold and leftovers are fantastic.
- 1 vine-ripe fresh tomato
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
- 2 tablespoons olive or avocado oil, divided
- 2 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes or one 28 oz. box diced tomatoes
- 8 oz. dried substantial pasta like Ziti, Fusili or Penne
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for topping
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1½ teaspoons red pepper flakes, plus more for topping
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup sliced kalamata or other favorite black olives
- 1 tablespoon drained capers
- ¼ cup Feta cheese
- 1 6-oz. can good quality Solid Albacore tuna, in water or oil - drained
- In a 12-inch deep saute' pan, drizzle 1 tablespoon olive or avocado oil and heat to medium. Slice the fresh tomato into very thin slices, about ¼ inch thick and add to the oil.
- Mince the garlic and add to the tomatoes. Let cook about 7-8 minutes, until tomatoes start to break down and caramelize a bit.
- Add one additional tablespoon oil. Add both cans diced tomatoes with their juices.
- Add the pasta, Parmesan cheese, salt, red pepper flakes and black pepper. Stir all ingredients until well distributed and so that pasta gets well coated with tomatoes.
- Add one cup water, stir once more. Cover and reduce heat to low and cook about 15 minutes, until pasta is al dente, stirring occasionally to prevent pasta from sticking to pan.
- Once the pasta is to your liking, take the pan off the heat.
- Drain the tuna and set aside.
- Dish up pasta mixture into individual serving bowls. Divide the tuna among the bowls, nesting on top or mixing into the hot pasta.
- Divide the olives, capers and feta among each portion, sprinkling with additional Parmesan and red pepper flakes, if desired.
- Leftovers may be served up to one day later.