Italian Mediterranean

Tuna Linguine Pasta

Friday, January 17, 2014Enz F

Tuna Linguine Pasta is a simple Mediterranean-inspired pasta dish oozing with rustic Italian flavors. It is very tasty and hearty yet very easy to make, perfect as a quick Friday night recipe. It is also ideal as potluck for any special gatherings or simply as mid-afternoon snack during family picnic. 

Home-cooked pasta dishes are more heartwarming and nothing can beat them.

Whenever I feel the need to treat my friends or loved ones to a fine dining restaurant but short of budget, I would just cook some pasta for them with whatever available ingredients I have just sitting inside the fridge. It has been my habit to reinvent dishes with anything my four-cornered kitchen could humbly offer. I love to have myself cook for the people very dear to me as in this way, I could give them my special care and add a personal touch to my cooking. It is a service with no equivalent price. Besides, they could hardly distinguish the difference, at least when it comes to the taste. It is still as if I have treated them to an expensive Italian Restaurant but minus the fancy tables and service crews in uniform. I am a believer that nothing can really beat a true home-cooked dish. Also, I find it more heartwarming being at home with the closest people around as I watch them all together swarm over the large tray of the dish I prepared with all my heart just for them.

The flat-stripped pasta makes it extra-special.
In this recipe, I made it extra special using the flat-stripped pasta known as linguine. In a common Filipino dine setting, serving pasta other than the usual long slender spaghetti equates to a special occasion or a celebration. Since the rounded pasta is cheaper and more mainstream, the uncommon and more sophisticated varieties is rarely used on ordinary days. 

During the cooking process, I love to toss my pasta over the sauce while still simmering to let them slightly absorb the tomato juice but not to overdo to still maintain them al dente. This will also allow all the flavors to infuse. The spices and seasonings depend on what are readily available from the cupboard. This recipe is very simple and straightforward. It is definitely one of the dishes that should be on the top list of the menu list as it will definitely hit around the kitchen table. Buon appetito!

Tuna Linguine Pasta
Number of servings: 3-4

(Printer-friendly recipe)

  • 17.6 oz. (500 g) linguine pasta 
  • 14.1 oz. (400 g) canned tuna flakes in oil or brine, drained 
  • 2 tbsps. calamansi lime or lemon juice 
  • 3 tbsps. olive oil 
  • 1 bulb medium-sized onion, finely chopped 
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 10 pcs. medium-sized ripe tomatoes, deseeded and finely diced 
  • 1 tbsp. sugar 
  • ½ cup black olives, pitted and roughly chopped 
  • 1 pc. large red bell pepper, deseeded and chopped 
  • 2 tbsps. dried basil leaves 
  • 3 tbsps. chopped parsley, plus extra for garnish 
  • 1 tsp. chili flakes (optional) 
  • salt and ground pepper, to taste 

  1. Cook the linguine pasta based on the package instructions. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Using a huge colander, drain the pasta 5 minutes before it reaches the al dente stage. Run with cold water to stop the cooking process and set aside. 
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or skillet. Sauté the garlic and onion over medium heat until very fragrant and translucent. 
  3. Add tomatoes and sugar. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes or until tomatoes are soft and saucy. 
  4. Drain the canned tuna flakes and toss in the calamansi lime or lemon juice. 
  5. Add the tuna flakes on the pan along with olives, bell peppers and ½ cup of the reserved pasta cooking water. Continue cooking for another 2 minutes. Season with basil, parsley, chili flakes (optional), salt and ground pepper. 
  6. Add the pasta in the sauce and gradually pour the remaining cooking water as needed. Simmer over high heat, tossing until the sauce slightly thickened and absorbed by the pasta. Adjust the seasonings. 
  7. Remove from heat. Place in a serving plate and then garnish with the remaining chopped parsley. Serve with toasted garlic bread if desired. Enjoy!

  • If you want a spicy pasta dish, you may use spicy canned tuna. 
  • Sprinkle with grated cheese of your choice if desired. 
  • Boost your greens by adding vegetables like broccoli or rapini. Add the veggies a couple of minutes before serving the dish to maintain the texture and nutritive value.

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