Homemade Tuna Pasta recipe

Tuna Pasta, a delightful concoction that swims its way into your heart and home, is a testament to the versatility and straightforward charm of Italian cuisine. Here at Italy Today Restaurant, accessible through the culinary haven that is italytodayrestaurant.com, we treasure classic recipes while imparting our own touch of creativity.

As your head chef and narrative navigator, it’s my joy to not only concoct these dishes but to weave you into the story they tell—a tale of flavor, tradition, and the comfort of a well-set table.

Envision tender chunks of tuna, their rich, meaty texture providing a counterpoint to the soft give of freshly cooked pasta. This dish doesn’t rely on complex techniques but rather celebrates each ingredient for its individual merits, allowing their natural flavors to come to the fore.

Whether flaked from delicate fillets or embracing the ease of quality canned tuna, this bountiful fish is a beloved staple along Italy’s coastline and beyond. It brings the essence of the sea to your dining experience without overwhelming the senses.

The choice of pasta can swing from the delicate twirls of spaghetti to the satisfying bite of penne, each variety nestled among the layers of our simple yet flavorful sauce. This medley is often graced with hints of garlic, a splash of olive oil, and perhaps a scattering of capers or olives to anchor the nautical theme.

A sprinkle of parsley, fresh from the garden, adds an herbal freshness that brightens the dish, contrasting beautifully with the savory depth of tuna.

Want to reel this Tuna Pasta into your own kitchen? Visit us at italytodayrestaurant.com for a step-by-step recipe that will guide you through preparing this comforting classic with the finesse and passion characteristic of Italian cooking.

Buon appetito – let this Tuna Pasta offer a taste of Italy’s hearty embrace, with each forkful reminding you of the simplicity and profound pleasure found in a plate of well-made pasta.


"Tuna Pasta is a quintessential representation of the simplicity and rustic allure found in Italian cuisine. This dish, which features the robust flavors of tuna complemented by the delicate texture of pasta, is celebrated for its balanced interplay between the richness of the sea and the comfort of hearty pasta. It's a meal that honors each component, letting the natural taste of quality ingredients shine through.
Incorporating either tender tuna steaks or the convenience of superior canned tuna, this pasta embodies the culinary traditions of Italy's coastal regions. The type of pasta selected, ranging from the elegant twirls of spaghetti to the hearty bite of penne, is enveloped in a savory sauce that often includes garlic, olive oil, and maybe a touch of capers or olives to enhance the maritime theme.
The dish is finished with a sprinkling of fresh parsley, offering a bright herbal note that contrasts delightfully with the tuna's savory depth. This Tuna Pasta can be recreated at home with directions from italytodayrestaurant.com, where the head chef provides a step-by-step recipe that captures the essence of Italian cooking passion and craftsmanship.
Buon appetito – let the Tuna Pasta embrace you with its flavors reminiscent of Italy's vast coastline and the uncomplicated joy that comes from a plate of well-crafted pasta."
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Pasta
Cuisine Italian
Servings 2 people
Calories 562 kcal


  • 1 bowl
  • 1 pan


  • 200 g 7 oz of spaghetti
  • 1 can of natural tuna
  • 15 cl 5 oz cream (crème fraîche)
  • 1 teaspoon of tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper
  • Basil


  • Boil water with a pinch of salt. Dip the spaghetti and cook for the time indicated on the package.
  • Drain and crumble the tuna. Pour it into a bowl.
  • Mix the tuna with cream and tomato paste. Salt and pepper.
  • Heat tuna sauce in a pan a few minutes.
  • Drain the pasta, serve them on plates and cover with the tuna sauce. Sprinkle with chopped fresh basil.


Keyword tomato, TUNA

How to make Tuna Pasta using oven

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  • Preheat the Oven: Heat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius) to prepare for baking.
  • Prepare Tuna (if using fresh): If using fresh tuna steaks, season them with salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. Place the seasoned tuna on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake Tuna: Insert the tuna in the preheated oven and bake until it’s cooked to your preference, generally around 10-12 minutes for a medium-rare finish depending on the thickness of the steaks. Once done, remove from the oven and flake into chunks with a fork.
  • Cook Pasta: While the tuna bakes, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook your pasta choice—spaghetti or penne work well—until al dente. Preserve some pasta water, then drain the pasta.
  • Prepare Additional Ingredients: If incorporating garlic, olives, or capers, you may combine these with olive oil in a heatproof dish and warm in the oven for a few minutes alongside tuna, taking care not to burn the garlic.
  • Combine: In a large bowl, mix the warm cooked pasta with the flaked tuna, the warming oil with aromatics, and add freshly chopped parsley. If using canned tuna, you can simply stir it into the cooked pasta along with the other ingredients once the pasta is cooked.
  • Adjust: If the mixture is dry, add reserved pasta water gradually until the desired consistency is reached.
  • Finish in the Oven (Optional): To get a crispy top, place the mixed pasta in an oven-safe dish, sprinkle with breadcrumbs or cheese if you like, and broil for a couple of minutes until crispy and browned on top.
  • Garnish and Serve: Top with additional fresh parsley and other garnishes like lemon zest for extra flavor.

Tips for making about Tuna Pasta

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Cooking tips

  • Ingredient Quality: Choose high-quality tuna, whether opting for fresh fillets or choosing canned tuna. Fresh tuna should be vibrant in color and nearly odor-free, while canned tuna should be from a reputable brand known for its quality.
  • Pasta Selection: Use pasta that complements the texture of the tuna. Spaghetti and penne are popular choices; they not only hold the sauce well but also align with the simple elegance of this dish.
  • Cooking Tuna: If using fresh tuna steaks, sear them briefly on each side to lock in the flavor and moisture. The interior should be pinkish for the best taste and texture. If you’re using canned tuna, look for varieties packed in olive oil for added flavor.
  • Balancing Flavors: Incorporate garlic, olive oil, and a dash of lemon juice to the sauce to enhance the natural taste of tuna without overpowering it. Capers or olives can also add a salty, briny dimension that pairs well with seafood.
  • Herbs for Freshness: Parsley is traditionally favored for its clean, mildly peppery flavor that complements the savory taste of tuna. It brightens the dish and adds a pop of color. Use fresh herbs where possible for the best outcome.
  • Sauce Simplicity: Keep the sauce light and straightforward, allowing the core ingredients – tuna and pasta – to shine. A bit of olive oil and perhaps some reserved pasta water are typically sufficient to bring the dish together.
  • Finishing Touches: Before serving, adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, and consider adding a final drizzle of high-quality extra virgin olive oil for a rich finish.
  • Serving: Serve the TUNA PASTA hot, garnished with additional chopped parsley and a lemon wedge for those who wish to add a citrusy zing to their plate.

Serving suggestions

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  • Plating with Elegance: Serve the Tuna Pasta in a warmed plate or bowl to retain the heat. Use tongs to twirl the pasta and place it in the center of the dish, then artfully arrange the tuna on top to showcase its texture and color.
  • Garnish Wisely: Sprinkle freshly chopped parsley over the pasta for a pop of color and an herby freshness that complements the savory tuna. Adding a few capers or sliced olives can also introduce a salty zest that echoes the maritime essence of the dish.
  • Olive Oil Drizzle: Finish with a light drizzle of high-quality extra virgin olive oil for a rich, fruity aroma and depth of flavor that ties all the elements together.
  • Accompaniments: Serve with a slice of crusty bread or focaccia to absorb any lingering savory sauce, ensuring every bit of flavor is savored.
  • Wine Pairing: Complement the meal with a chilled glass of white wine, perhaps a Pinot Grigio or Vermentino, which has the acidity to cut through the richness of the tuna while matching the lightness of the pasta.
  • Freshen Up: Offer lemon wedges on the side for those who enjoy a citrus boost that will brighten up the flavors even more.

Top 5 FAQs about Tuna Pasta

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  • What types of pasta are ideal for Tuna Pasta? Both spaghetti and penne are popular choices for Tuna Pasta. These shapes not only hold the sauce well but also complement the texture of tuna, aligning with the dish’s simplicity.
  • Can Tuna Pasta be made using an oven? Yes, you can utilize an oven for major components of the dish, such as baking fresh tuna steaks seasoned with salt, pepper, and olive oil at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (about 200 degrees Celsius). You can also finish the combined pasta in the oven for a crispy top if you like.
  • Should I use fresh or canned tuna, and how should it be prepared? Choose high-quality tuna, whether opting for fresh fillets that are vibrant in color and nearly odor-free, or choosing canned tuna from a reputable brand. If using fresh tuna steaks, they should be baked until cooked to your preference. For canned tuna, stir it into the cooked pasta along with the other ingredients after cooking.
  • What additional ingredients work well in Tuna Pasta? You can incorporate garlic, olives, or capers for added flavor, toss in a bit of olive oil, and sprinkle freshly chopped parsley for freshness. These ingredients can be combined in the oven with the tuna or stirred into the pasta directly after it is cooked.
  • How do I ensure the Tuna Pasta isn’t too dry? If the mixture is dry after combining the pasta and tuna, add reserved pasta water gradually until the desired consistency is reached. Warm the ingredients carefully to avoid any element from becoming too dry, especially the tuna.

In conclusion, Tuna Pasta is more than just a dish; it’s a celebration of Italian culinary simplicity and elegance. Each forkful intertwines the robust flavors of the ocean with the comforting textures of al dente pasta. Whether adorned with fresh tuna steaks or the ease of quality canned tuna, this dish showcases the purity of its ingredients while honoring the traditions of Italy’s coastal cuisine.

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