Penne Rigate With Tomato Tuna Sauce is a typical Italian pasta dish I grew up with. Made with just a few good quality staple ingredients and packed full of wonderful flavors, this recipe is one you will turn to again and again.
As is common in most cultures and at a time when food was scarce, families made do with the few humble ingredients they had on hand while creating simple and authentic comfort food made with love. In Italian this philosophy is known as La Cucina Povera, or otherwise “the poor kitchen” and truly born out of necessity.
This concept is far easier to embrace during summertime when gardens are lush with fruits and vegetables. However in wintertime we need not look any further then our own kitchen pantries.
Canned tuna is one of those staple items I always keep in my pantry. Its ready at a moments notice for quick sandwiches as my son can attest…he just adored tuna sandwiches for his school lunches! They are also wonderfully delicious tossed with green leafy salads and legumes for an extra protein kick.
However, canned tuna also makes a rather enticing sauce which simply begs to be tossed over freshly cooked pasta and I know you will most certainly appreciate its simplicity.
A good quality oil packed canned tuna is much more flavorful then the water packed variety and will elevate this simple sauce. Also, don’t be too concerned about the oil which you will be draining out anyhow but if this is still an issue for you then by all means go for the water packed.
Although you can choose any pasta of your choice, my preference and absolute favorite are penne rigate or the smaller variety pennette rigate. I love this pasta shape for its crevices and hallow center making them the perfect vehicle to hold a chunky tomato and tuna sauce.
Impress your family or friends and make Penne Rigate with Tomato Tuna Sauce tonight!
- Tomato Sauce
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 small onion, chopped
- pinch of crushed chili pepper
- 24 ounce jar Passata ( Italian strained tomatoes) I used San Marzano
- 2 sprigs of basil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 x 85 grams canned oil packed tuna, drained
- ¼ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
- chopped parsley for garnish
- 450 grams Penne Rigate or other pasta of your choice
- Heat the oil in a medium sized sauce pot over medium low heat and saute the garlic, chopped onions and the crushed chili pepper just until the onions are soft, while stirring often for about 5 minutes.
- Add in the passata (Italian strained tomatoes), basil, salt and pepper and stir well.
- Fill the bottle of passata three quarters full with water. Give it a good swirl and add this to the sauce.
- Bring the sauce to a boil then lower the heat, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes or until the sauce thickens and the sweet concentrated flavors of the tomatoes come through.
- While the sauce is slowly simmering, bring a large pot of water to boil.
- Salt the water and cook the pasta according to directions on package.
- At this point,while the pasta cooks add the drained tuna and chopped kalamata olives to the tomato sauce and allow to simmer till the pasta is cooked.
- When ready, drain the pasta and toss with some of the tomato sauce.
- Plate the pasta and top with more sauce and a sprinkle of chopped parsley.
- Serve while still warm.