Pasta with Tuna and Olives is a fast and easy Pasta recipe that is perfect anytime. A 15 minute homemade tomato sauce filled with olives and tuna, can’t get much better than that!
That time of year has arrived in Italy, yup Olive picking time! I have to admit it is something that I don’t mind doing, it’s relatively clean (none of that sticky grape juice running down your arms during grape season).
And it’s Fall. My favourite time of the year. This year looks to be a pretty good year for the olives and olive oil.
Last year in our part of the country not so much, too much rain in August unfortunately produced a parasite that attacked the trees and therefore the olive trees produced little to no olives.
So with that in mind I dedicate this delicious Tuna and Olive Pasta dish to fall in Italy.
- Olive oil
- Hot pepper flakes
- Tomatoes – canned Marzano or Roma nothing added
- Olive – black or green your choice we prefer black
- Pasta – short ridged pasta is the preferred type of pasta
What is the best pasta to use
Rigatoni or Penne are the perfect pasta to use in this recipe because they are nice and big and scoop up all this amazing sauce which is full of tuna and olives.
Any left over sauce can easily be wiped with a crusty piece of Italian bread or as the Italians say “fare la scarpetta”.
How to make Pasta with Tuna and Olives
- In a large pan add the olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, spices and water.
- Simmer over medium heat uncovered, stirring occasionally for approximately 15-20 minutes or until thickened.
- Then lower the heat and add the tuna, stir to combine and simmer for about a minute.
- Add the olives, stirring to combine, again simmer for a minute.
- Add the cooked pasta and half a ladle of pasta water tossing to combine on high heat until almost creamy.
- Serve immediately.
How to cook pasta
Always cook the pasta in enough water, you will need 4 cups (1 litre) for 3 1/2 ounces (100 grams) of pasta. Be sure to choose the correct size pot, you don’t want the water to reach the rim and overflow, because pasta, when cooked, can increase in volume up to three times. Always cover the pot when boiling the water, but remove it once the pasta has been added.
Calculate about 7 g of salt for every litre of water. Add the salt only when the water has reached a boil and never before.
After adding the pasta to the pot, bring it back to a boil and keep it at a boil while the pasta is cooking. This allows the pasta to achieve an even cooking, be sure to stir frequently while it is cooking.
Never pass the freshly drained pasta under running tap water. You should never stop the cooking, even when you are making a cold pasta salad, let it cool by adding a drizzle of olive oil to prevent it from sticking.
Drain the pasta al dente, this is done by tasting, if it has a bite to it it’s ready, nothing worse than mushy pasta. If you have to toss the pasta in a pan with sauce (like this recipe) then cook it at least one minute less (pasta very al dente).
How to store it
Store any leftover pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge. Reheat in a skillet.
More Delicious Pasta Recipes
My mother-in-law would make this Italian Pasta recipe with tomato puree, but personally I prefer a chunkier sauce, that is why I use whole peeled Roma or Marzano tomatoes instead.
So wherever you are in this world, if it is Summer or Fall, warm or cold, there is nothing better than a plate of Tuna and Olive Pasta. Buon Appetito!
Pasta with Tuna and Olives
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1-2 pinches hot pepper flakes if desired
- 1 can Peeled Roma or Marzano tomatoes (chopped/ 1 1/2 – 2 cups) (400 grams)
- 1/4-1/2 cup water
- 1 can tuna ( I use canned in water ) (140 grams)
- 20 green or black pitted olives sliced in half
- 3 cups cooked short pasta (or approximately 1 1/2 -2 cups dry)
- In a large pan add olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, oregano, basil, salt, hot pepper flakes, and water. Heat over medium heat, uncovered for approximately 15-20 minutes or until thickened.
- While the sauce is cooking boil the water and cook the pasta al dente.
- Then lower the heat, and add the tuna, stir to combine and simmer for about one minute. Add the olives, stirring to combine, add the cooked pasta and half a ladle of pasta water (about ¼ cup) tossing to combine on high heat until almost creamy. Serve immediately.
Updated from October 7, 2014.