Pirate Pasta

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 35 min
  • Prep: 10 min
  • Cook: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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Kosher salt

1 pound penne

1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese (6 ounces)

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

8 ounces mushrooms, such as cremini, button or shiitake, sliced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole

Freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup medium green olives (about 18), pitted and halved

1/4 cup tomato paste

2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

One 10-ounce or two 5-ounce cans tuna in olive oil, such as Tonnino, drained

1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but still firm to the bite, 8 to 10 minutes. Reserve about 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta. Place the pasta and 1/2 cup cheese in a large bowl and toss until coated.
  2. In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms begin to brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the olives, tomato paste, capers, red pepper flakes, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and the tuna. Using a wooden spoon, break up the tuna into 1-inch pieces. Add the chicken broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Remove the garlic and discard.
  3. Pour the tuna mixture over the pasta. Add the remaining 1/2 cup cheese and the basil, and toss until coated, using the reserved cooking liquid to loosen the sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
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