Tuna and White Bean Pasta with Gremolata Bread Crumbs

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 25 min
  • Prep: 10 min
  • Cook: 15 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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6 tablespoons EVOO

6 flat filet anchovies, optional

6 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 cup breadcrumbs, toast and grind stale bread or store bought (have frozen ends in fridge to give tip - save ends until you have a bunch, toast and grind)

2 lemons

1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional

1 pound penne or ziti rigate

4 ribs celery, finely chopped

1 red onion, finely chopped

1 (15-ounce) can white beans, rinsed and drained

2 sprigs fresh rosemary, finely chopped

1/2 cup white wine, white vermouth or chicken broth

2 cans 6 ounces each Italian tuna in oil or water, drained

1 large tomato, seeded and chopped or 1 can 15 ounces can diced tomatoes, drained, optional


  1. Heat 4 tablespoons EVOO in small pan over medium-low heat with anchovies, if using. Melt anchovies into oil until they dissolve then add garlic and stir 2 minutes then add breadcrumbs and stir and cook until deeply golden in color. Stir in zest of 2 lemons and parsley and crushed red pepper flakes. Turn off heat and transfer to a bowl.
  2. Heat a large pot of water to a boil for pasta.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat with 2 tablespoons EVOO, couple of turns of the pan. Add celery, onions and 2 cloves garlic to the pan and cook until just tender, 5 minutes. Add white beans and rosemary and heat through 2 to 3 minutes more. Add wine, vermouth or broth, flakes tuna and tomato, if using. Stir 2 minutes then turn off heat.
  4. Just before draining the pasta, add a ladle of starchy cooking water to pan along with the drained pasta, toss to combine. Serve in shallow bowls with lots of breadcrumbs and a drizzle of oil on top.
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