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Pasta con Tonno - A Family Feast

Pasta con Tonno

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings


  • 12 ounces dry Pipe Rigate pasta (sea shells would be a close substitute)
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup onions, diced
  • 1 cup green bell peppers, diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh garlic, chopped (about 5 or 6 cloves)
  • 2 5-ounce cans tuna packed in olive oil, drained (Also called tonno in olive oil – found next to the canned tuna at the market. Look for gold cans)
  • 2 cup fresh garden tomatoes, seeded, cored and diced (any plump, juicy variety)
  • ¼ cup flat leaf Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon coarsely cracked black pepper
  • ¼ to ½ cup pasta water
  • ¾ cup Romano cheese grated, plus more for serving.
  • ½ cup fresh basil, chopped


  1. Bring well-salted pasta water to boil and pour in dry pasta. Cook to about two minutes less than done. The pasta should still be chewy.
  2. In a large skillet or sauté pan over medium heat, add two tablespoons of olive oil and once hot add onions and peppers. Sauté for eight minutes.
  3. Add two more tablespoons of oil and add garlic and drained tuna and cook for two minutes, being careful not to break up the chunks of tuna too much.
  4. Add two more tablespoons of oil and add tomatoes, parsley, salt and pepper and cook for two minutes.
  5. Using a spider or strainer, scoop out pasta and add to skillet. Add one quarter cup of pasta water and cook over medium heat until pasta is fully cooked, adding more pasta water only if needed.
  6. Stir in Romano cheese and chopped fresh basil and serve. Sprinkle additional Romano on top before serving and serve additional Romano on the side.