Pasta with Tuna


I’m pretty sure this recipe originates from Italy, but I just like to think of it as something simple, quick, and delicious.

I’ve taught this recipe to both my grown daughters, because it is so inexpensive to make; it’s a good recipe to know when you’re on a budget.

The cost of the dish depends mostly on the quality of canned tuna you wish to purchase. If you’re on a budget, I would recommend purchasing the $0.69 canned tuna in oil. You can use the oil in the recipe, or drain the tuna if you prefer. (It will be less fishy if you drain the tuna.) Or, use the highest quality tuna you can find – like Italian or Spanish tuna. Either way, it’s a delicious, fresh-tasting pasta that provides protein and will “stick to your ribs.”

Another reason I like to make this myself, and fortunately I’m not on a food budget anymore, is that so many other ingredients can be added to this basic pasta with tuna recipe, so I can play with the dish depending on my mood. Maybe I should have named this post Pasta with Tuna, many different ways.

Nonetheless, here is the basic recipe:

Pasta with Tuna

6 ounces pasta – I used whole-wheat spaghetti
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 – 2 ounce can anchovies with capers (I actually thought I was just buying a can of anchovies – surprise!)
3-5 cloves garlic, minced
3 – 5 ounce cans Albacore tuna in water, well drained
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box.

Meanwhile, in a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the anchovies and pound on them a little until they dissolve. Add the garlic and cook for just a minute.


Then add the tuna and break up the pieces a little. Add the lemon juice and stir well.


When the pasta has cooked and drained, add it to the tuna in the pot and stir well. If you want it a little more moist, add more olive oil. It is now ready to serve.

If you wish, add a sprinkling of capers to the pasta, as well as some chopped parsley.


To make the dish even more healthy and hearty, add some well-drained white beans to the pasta.

And, you can even add some drained diced tomatoes to the pasta if you want to extend it a bit more. I would add the tomatoes to the olive oil-anchovy-garlic mixture, and then proceed with the recipe.

Then there’s always breadcrumbs if you fancy, or grated Parmesan cheese if you require this dish to be more cheesy.

And there – many versions of pasta with tuna. All easy, fast, healthy, and inexpensive.

14 thoughts on “Pasta with Tuna

  1. I love pasta and tuna! And anchovies and capers work so well together, I would have been happy to open the can of anchovies and realize there was more to them! Yummy yummy

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