Penne with Tuna and Sundried Tomatoes

Do you ever have one of those days where you come home and pretty much all you can handle is opening up some tuna fish?  Yep, me too.  Those are the days where I extend myself just a teeny bit further to boil some water and find a skillet, and suddenly the dinner that started out being a tuna fish sandwich ends up being this easy, breezy dish of pasta tossed with warm tuna and sundried tomatoes…and all of the sudden your day is looking a lot merrier.

And that’s almost all there is to it, really!  Cook up some penne pasta (and make sure you salt that pasta water!  It should be like sea water – not kidding!), and while the pasta is cooking, heat up some olive oil and garlic in a skillet with some red pepper.  Once the oil is hot, add in a can of tuna (break it up with your fingers first) and some sliced sun-dried tomatoes and stir the whole thing around for about 3 minutes.

Once the pasta is done, scoop out about 1/2 cup of pasta water, drain the pasta and add it to the skillet along with some fresh chopped parsley and some parmesan cheese.  Pour in the pasta water and toss it all together…the pasta water will combine with the rest of it to make a lovely, delicate sauce.  Scoop it onto your favorite plates, sprinkle with a little more cheese and some fresh lemon juice.  And just like that ~ you’re done!  All in just a little more time than it would take you to make a tuna fish sandwich.

Now light some candles, pour yourself a glass of wine, and try to remember why you thought it was one of those days.  It’s going to be a lovely evening!

Penne with Tuna and Sundried Tomatoes
Serves: 2 servings
  • 6 ounces penne pasta
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 six ounce can tuna, drained and broken up with your fingers
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes (if yours are whole, the easiest way to do this is to snip them with a kitchen shears)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Lemon wedges
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions (make sure you salt the water! It's SO much better that way!) and reserve ½ cup pasta water when you drain it.
  2. Add oil, garlic and red pepper to skillet and heat over medium-high for about one minute. Add tuna, ¼ cup cheese, and tomatoes and cook, stirring regularly, for about 3 minutes.
  3. Add pasta, parsley and reserved pasta water and toss until everything is combined. Divide among plates, sprinkle with reserved cheese and serve with lemon wedges.

Recipe adapted from THE PAMPERED CHEF



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  1. Charlene Thompson says

    I have got to remember when I’m at the grocery store to get some sundried tomatoes. I will definately try this one. With my health problems, I certainly need quick and easy.

  2. Francesca says

    Would you like to know my personal version of pasta with tuna? Just break tuna (oil-packed of course….as you say, much more flavour!) in a bowl, add lots of BASIL leaves (split into pieces by hand, never use a knife with basil!) and some capers, olive oil, mix…and that’s all. It’s a “cold” sauce, no cooking involved, so it’s more a typical summer recipe, nonetheless it can be of much help when you have little spare time to prepare your meal. I’ll try your version, sun-dried tomatoes + tuna really inspires me!

  3. says

    Looks delicious. I’m partial to kalamata olives though and would use those instead of the sun dried tomatoes. The saltiness compliments tuna/pasta pretty well.

  4. Rachel says

    Will definitely try this. I make a tuna/onion/tomato sauce version with added sundried toms. Serve with grated cheese.

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