Tuna Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce

There are mornings when I’d wake up extra early to cook something nice for lunch. Then there are mornings when I’d wake up and think, “Easy. Quick. I’m sleepy.” Those are mornings for pasta.

Our good friend, Sebastian, has been having tuna pasta for lunch forever. I’m not sure why I haven’t even tried it yet. After this little trial, I finally know why he could have tuna with pasta at least 3 times a week for lunch without so much as a complaint. I would have it as often had I known how easy and delicious it is.

The cast of ingredients:

Cavatappi Pasta, Tuna packed in Olive Oil, Garlic, Cherry Tomatoes, Parmesan Cheese, Fresh Basil & Pine Nuts
Tuna Pasta Fresh Tomato 1

I’m not sure why but something about “Dolphin Safe” cracked me up. I know the whole issue with tuna fishing and such. Don’t know why that little sign made me laugh.Tuna Pasta Fresh Tomato 2

Anyway, back to pasta. While the pasta is boiling in salted water, the ingredients gets all cut up and prepped.Tuna Pasta Fresh Tomato 3

I didn’t use any extra olive oil. All I did was try my best to skim off a little of the olive oil from the tuna can…Tuna Pasta Fresh Tomato 4

… and fried my garlic in that. It was slightly splattery but worth having less oil than necessary in the pasta later.Tuna Pasta Fresh Tomato 5

Tomatoes are tossed in once the garlic slices become slightly golden around the edges.Tuna Pasta Fresh Tomato 6

I want the tomatoes to get softer and break down a slightly before adding my tuna bits with all the juices and oil.Tuna Pasta Fresh Tomato 7

Once the tuna as been broken up enough, we’re essentially done except for some Parmesan…Tuna Pasta Fresh Tomato 8

…and basil.Tuna Pasta Fresh Tomato 9

Mix everything until nice and married together. Then add the pasta and stir it all up, serving it with a little sprinkle of pine nuts over top.Tuna Pasta Fresh Tomato 10

Here’s an artsy Instagram shot for good measure.Tuna Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce

I made so much of this. It feels like it’s a lot but essentially, it’s mostly air since the pasta has, like, a hole going right through. I like to think of it as balloon pasta. Mostly air.Tuna Pasta Fresh Tomato 11

Great lunch for us two.

Tuna Pasta Fresh Tomato 12

Of course more Parmesan is mandatory!

I bought another two cans of tuna. And forgot any tomatoes or basil this time around. We’ll see what I come up with in the near future!

xoxoxo, Jayne

“Only fear the LORD, and serve Him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things He hath done for you.” (1 Samuel 12:24)

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Tuna Pasta in Fresh Tomato Sauce
serves 2

200gms (appx 1/2 lbs) Cavatappi Pasta (or your pasta of choice)
1 can (185 gms or 6.5 oz) Tuna packed in Olive Oil
3 cloves Garlic, thinly sliced
20 Cherry Tomatoes (about 2 cups), halved
1/4 cup reserved pasta-cooking Water*
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 cup fresh Basil
3 tbsp Pine Nuts

  1. Boil pasta in salted water.
  2. Meanwhile, skim off some olive oil from tuna can and use it to sauté garlic until edges are lightly browned.
  3. Add in tomatoes. Cook on MEDIUM HIGH until tomatoes are soft and breaking down slightly, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Pour in tuna with juices and oil. Break big pieces apart but leave it slightly chunky.
  5. Stir in pasta-cooking water, grated Parmesan and fresh Basil.
  6. Add in cooked and well-drained pasta and stir well.
  7. Plate up with a sprinkling of pine nuts over top and some grated Parmesan.
  8. Enjoy the incredible flavours!

*Always reserve about 1/2 cup of water used to boil the pasta in in case your sauce needs thinning. Pasta-cooking water contains salt and starch from the pasta, helping the sauce to stick to the pasta up while loosening overly thick sauce without diluting the flavours.


  1. When I studied abroad, I ate tuna for lunch nearly EVERY DAY. Reading this recipe really makes me want to get back into that because I love it. I love that you’ve combined three of my favorite things: tuna, pasta and cheese, along with some veggies, too. Sounds like a fantastic lunch to me!

    Also, bless you for waking up and making your lunch the day of. I am SO HORRIBLE at this. Like, I have to have leftovers from the night before because I am helplessly sleepy and unproductive first thing in the mornings…

    • Tuna and pasta is such a good and delicious pairing, right? I’ve always read about this but I have no idea why I doubt it’s deliciousness. So silly. Now I think I’m forever changed.

      Actually, I’m not that great in the mornings as well. It’s almost always leftovers. On the occasional morning when I’m feeling extra energetic and productive, then we’ll get stuff lime daikon chicken. Pasta is my lazyday lunch. haha… just boil pasta and mix with whatever I can scavenge from the pantry or fridge.

      Your recipes on your blog are amazing. Not to mention photography. I’m, like, a thousand miles behind. Who cares if you can’t make on the actual day? I’d eat your leftovers. 😀

      • They really are a fabulous pairing. 🙂 So glad you’ve discovered it and that it can be added to your ‘quick, delicious meal’ arsenal.

        Ha. That makes me feel slightly better. I’m always envious of people who can get up and going and be incredibly productive in the mornings because I struggle so much… even though I am no longer a night owl. However, I am still impressed that you cook in the mornings! Even boiling pasta and mixing it with stuff you scavenge from the fridge is awesome in my book.

        Thank you, lady. I’m loving the recipes on YOUR site. And you know that I’m a photographer for a living, right? Because it’s what I do. 😉 And sometimes, the leftovers aren’t all that great. C’est la vie…

        • haha… thanks for that. I do know you’re a photographer. You mentioned in your blog that you were a newspaper photographer once. I studied mass communication aeons ago myself though my studies were geared more towards the writing side. I kinda liked the newspaper writing course I did but then never really pursued that path. Anyway, I digress. I’m going to be stalking on your blog for pretty pictures and great recipes. See you there!

          • Haha, you’re welcome. 🙂 And how fun that you also studied mass comm! Mine was actually on the writing side, too, but I got a minor in photography, as well… so I also thoroughly enjoy the writing aspect.

            Haha. Well, thank you. I will certainly see you there AND here. 🙂


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