Easy tuna tomato rigatoni. Canned tuna sparked with capers and tomatoes creates a superb sauce that complements many pasta shapes. Tuna tomato pasta is one of my favorite recipes and it’s also a pantry-based super flavorful dinner that you can put on the table in just about 20 minutes. Boom, it doesn’t get much simpler than that. Italians would never serve cheese with fish, but you have my permission to break those rules.
We cook down the shallots and garlic in a bath of olive oil and butter until soft and jammy. The anchovies are there for saltiness, but they serve more as a background flavor to compliment the luscious garlicky marinara.
It’s so good and so mind-blowingly simple. Not only will it make the entire kitchen smell like a dream, but the sauce is also an effortless balance of acidity, saltiness, and brightness.
Let me guide you through the recipe with this step-by-step VIDEO
- any type of pasta will work, like penne, shells, or linguine, to name only a few
- anchovies: these little fish fillets round out the flavors. If you’re in doubt to cook with them, I can assure you that the final dish will not have a fishy flavor, instead, it adds a subtle umami flavor
- crushed red pepper flakes: you can substitute them with fresh chili, or leave it out entirely if you’d like to keep the sauce completely mild. Even a dash of your favorite hot sauce will work, and if you’re doing that, I recommend adding it gradually to taste after cooking
- tomato sauce: you can use crushed tomatoes, a jar of marinara sauce or pureed tomatoes
- canned tuna: since we’re using a lot of oil to prepare the sauce, tuna packed in water will be the best choice for this recipe. You can even use 2 tins for a more meaty sauce
- serve with a big rucola salad drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil
- you can add some courgette and a little less pasta
More easy pasta recipes, please!
- Rigatoni with Zucchini and Bacon
- Creamy White Wine Pasta with Bacon
- Pasta with smoked salmon and chorizo
- 300 g/11 ounces rigatoni
- 1 can (160g/6 ounces) tuna in water, drained
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 can (400 g/14 ounces) crushed tomatoes
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp each: red pepper flakes, salt, black pepper, dried oregano
- 3 anchovy fillets
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp capers
- Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium low heat. Add shallots and garlic, cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots become totally soft, about 10 minutes.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook rigatoni al dente. Scoop up ½ cup cooking water, then drain the rigatoni.
- In the meantime, add anchovies and spices to the skillet. Stir to melt the anchovies into the shallots, about 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste, capers and balsamic vinegar.
- Pour in crushed tomatoes and bring to a boil. Next add tuna and parsley. Then toss with rigatoni and add 1/4 cup cooking water.
- Toss gently to distribute the tuna without breaking up the chunks too much.
- Adjust salt and add more cooking water, if needed. Serve!
Calories Per Serving: 338 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.