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Tuna Pasta Puttanesca

Tuna Pasta Puttanesca


  • Salt

  • 1 pound penne pasta

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 2 cans Italian tuna in oil or water , drained well (5-6 ounces each)

  • 6 large cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1/2-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  • A generous handful of black olives (Gaeta, kalamata or oil-cured), pitted and chopped

  • 3 tablespoons capers, drained

  • 1/3 cup white vermouth or 1/2 cup dry white wine (eyeball it)

  • 1 can whole or diced tomatoes, such as San Marzano (28 ounces)

  • A generous handful of fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest

  • Fresh ground black pepper

  • Crusty bread


Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring up to a boil. Salt the water and cook penne to al dente. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet with three turns of the pan EVOO over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, cook a minute or two, then add tuna and break it up with your spoon. Add olives and capers, cook a minute or two more, then add vermouth or white wine; stir and cook down a minute. If using whole tomatoes, place a colander over a bowl, crush up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon, then add the tomatoes and their juice to pan. Otherwise, stir in diced tomatoes and juice. Add the parsley, lemon zest and black pepper, then simmer the sauce a couple of minutes more. Add a couple of ladles of starchy pasta-cooking water to the sauce. Drain the pasta, add to the skillet and toss to coat. Serve with some nice crusty bread.