Easy and Delicious Pasta with Tuna Sauce
Credit: Image courtesy of Pixomar / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This easy Italian recipe series is about quick, easy Italian meals that are delicious, quick and simple to create.  Today’s recipe is one of the prime examples of that category of cooking and one of the most rewarding for its deliciousness.

And it’s also one of the cheapest meals, which provides an extra benefit for the big family or the bigger gathering.  Even better, its ingredients are very much the sort of thing you should keep in your pantry as staples, things you should always have and try not to run out of.  So, it should be something that you can turn to again and again as a reliable meal that’s quick and simple to prepare.

Spaghetti with Tuna Sauce: it’s exactly the sort of thing you want for the weekday evening meal or a quick meal on the weekend, enjoyed after Crostini or Bruschetta.  The sort of thing that you can really make in big amounts too, when you need to.  Just add the extra ingredients. It’s an Italian regional staple and you’ll find slight variations all over the country, using the local ingredients and featuring a local twist here and there. 

It also highlights the versatility of something as simple as it gets: a can of tuna fish. But when it’s this simple, regardless of what the provenance is, the dish becomes about the quality of the even the simplest of ingredients.  You will want to use the best tomatoes or canned tomato brands you can find, the best spaghetti, the best tuna and olives you can get.  The quality of the produce – especially the tomatoes – is then allowed to shine through.

The chilli sauce may not be for everyone, however, so you can feel free to exclude it if you don’t want the extra heat.  There’s one thing you could add more of, however, and that’s the olives.  As I’m a lover of olives, I’m happy to double the amount below and I find the dish is enhanced: the substantial nature of the tuna fish really handles this well.

As this is a thick red sauce, you should enjoy it with a good red, best medium bodied.


To serve 4, you need the following ingredients:

225g/8oz dried spaghetti
1 garlic clove, crushed
400g/14oz chopped tomatoes (you can used canned tomatoes if you wish, but some prefer them completely fresh)
425g/15 oz can tuna fish in brine or oil, drained
2.5ml / ½ tablespoon chilli sauce (you might exclude this if the heat isn’t your thing)
4 black olives, stoned and chopped
Freshly ground black pepper


1. Cook the spaghetti lightly salted boiling water in the usual way in accordance with the packet instructions for the particular brand.  This is normally for about 10 minutes until the spaghetti is al dente.  Drain well and keep hot
2. To a sauce pan, add the garlic and the tomatoes and bring them to the boil. Then simmer uncovered for 2-3 minutes
3. To the sauce pan, add the tuna, chilli sauce (if you are using it), and olives to the pan
4. Then add the cooked spaghetti too. And heat well
5. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve hot.

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