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Penne Pasta with Tuna & Tomato Sauce

Updated on November 4, 2014

Penne Pasta with Tuna and Tomato Sauce

When you think of tuna fish, you think of tuna fish salad sandwiches or tuna fish in a lettuce salad or any salad, but usually not in tomato sauce. Italy is surrounded by water so seafood is very common almost everywhere. Tomato sauce is also common, although it may be made differently in different regions. So, it was a natural to put fish or seafood together with tomato sauce. That included tuna fish. You may think of Italian food as fattening but not always so. When you think about it, most of the dishes consist of tomatoes, fish, garlic, olive oil and pastas made with semolina flour. All heart healthy.

But, because we are in America, a lot of us work and don't want to spend a lot of time cooking when we come home, so I discovered that this dish is just as good with your favorite tomato sauce in a jar as it is with home made sauce. The addition of anchovies just put it over the top.

Did you ever hear, "it was made with love"? Well, that is how this dish was made all the years my mother and grandmother made it and I learned it from them but only recently put it into an actual recipe. I hope you and your family enjoy it as much as mine. As always, "mangiare buono".

Penne Pasta w/Tuna Fish and Tomato Sauce


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5 stars from 1 rating of Penne Pasta with Tuna and Tomato Sauce

Time Saving Recipe

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 10 min
Ready in: 25 min
Yields: Serves six people


  • 1 lb. Penne Pasta*
  • 2 (5oz.) cans Albacore Tuna packed in oil**
  • 1 (24oz.) jar of your favorite tomato sauce, I like the one with mushrooms in it
  • 1/2 can flat anchovies
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • To taste Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat a medium size saucepan with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil; add the chopped onion and chopped garlic and sauté for about 2 minutes on medium heat.
  2. Add the anchovies, breaking it up with a wooden spoon; it will dissolve. Cook for 1 minute more.
  3. Add the jar of sauce and 1/4 cup of water, the grated cheese and the pepper. Reduce the heat to a simmer with the lid sitting ajar on the pot.
  4. In the meantime, fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil, salt the boiling water and add the pasta and cook till desired doneness, about 10 minutes. Drain the pasta and add the sauce and a little cheese if you desire. You don't need to add salt, there is plenty in the anchovies and jar sauce and pasta water.
  5. *You can use other short pastas if you like.
  6. ** Use Albacore tuna fish because the regular tuna fish will get too mushy in the sauce.


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    • Rachel L Alba profile image

      Rachel L Alba 2 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      You can use whatever sauce is your favorite, that way you are sure to like the dish. It's a real Italian dish, I'd like to see what you think. Thanks for viewing my hub.

      Blessings to you.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      I love spaghetti and pasta but always buy prego pasta sauce, maybe i should try your recipe

    • Rachel L Alba profile image

      Rachel L Alba 2 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      Thank you also, Examiner, I will check out your recipe for tuna sauce too. I like seeing other peoples recipes, that's my hobby. Hope you enjoy it. Thanks for the thumbs up.

      Blessings to you.

    • Rachel L Alba profile image

      Rachel L Alba 2 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      Thanks Peggy for visiting and for the great comment. You could use the Albacore tuna in water, like you said just add a little olive oil. Thanks for sharing and pinning.

      Blessings to you.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 2 years ago

      That sounds similar to what I have for lunch Rachel. I put my recipe in here also. I had made it gradually as it is not out of a book. I was looking up all of the foods which were safe to eat and right for me. Perhaps I will add a few ingredients from yours to mine. I gave it a thumbs up and shared it.


    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      We always have those ingredients on hand with the exception that the tuna we have is usually packed in water and the anchovies we purchase are usually in jars. Could just add some olive oil to make up for the tuna in water. This sounds really good, fast and simple to make. Will be trying this in the days ahead. Penne Pasta with Tuna Tomato Sauce paired with a green leafy salad sounds like a great supper to me. Thanks! Will pin this and also share.