Tuna Puttanesca

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 13 min
  • Prep: 5 min
  • Cook: 8 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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1 pound penne pasta

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 cans (about 5.5 to 6 ounces each) Italian tuna in oil or water, drained well

6 large cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

A generous handful black olives (Gaeta, kalamata or oil-cured), pitted and chopped

3 tablespoons capers, drained

1/3 cup white vermouth or 1/2 cup dry white wine - eyeball it

1 (28-ounce) can whole or diced tomatoes (recommended: San Marzano)

A generous handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

2 teaspoons lemon zest

Fresh ground black pepper

Crusty bread


  1. Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring up to a boil. Salt the water and cook penne to al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet with 3 turns of the pan extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, cook a minute or 2, then add tuna and break it up with your spoon. Add olives and capers, cook a minute or 2 more, then add vermouth or white wine; stir and cook down a minute. If using whole tomatoes, place a colander over a bowl, crush up tomatoes with a wooden spoon, then add tomatoes and their juice to pan. Otherwise, stir in diced tomatoes and juice. Add parsley, zest and black pepper, then simmer the sauce a couple of minutes more.
  3. Add a couple of ladles of starchy pasta-cooking water to the sauce. Drain pasta, add to the skillet and toss to coat. Serve with some nice crusty bread.
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