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Fusilli with fresh tuna, olives and tomatoes recipe

Fusilli with fresh tuna, olives and tomatoes recipe

  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Pasta
  • Seafood pasta
  • Tuna pasta

A light and tasty dish, very Mediterranean style, with capers, black olives, fresh tuna and fresh tomatoes.

Kent, England, UK

2 people made this

IngredientsServes: 3

  • 300g fusilli pasta
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 branches of thyme, chopped
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • a handful black olives
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 fresh tuna steak, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:15min ›Ready in:30min

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and cook the fusilli until tender with a bite at the centre, about 8 minutes; drain.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a frying pan and fry the onion with the thyme until the onion is translucent.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes, capers and olives, a pinch of salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Add the tuna, Worcestershire sauce and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and cook for another 3 minutes.
  4. Add the sauce to the pasta, stirring it well in.

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Tuna Nicoise Pasta

Among the standouts from last year’s Dietary Guidelines was the advice that Americans eat more seafood. We collectively fall woefully short of the recommended two to three weekly servings. Part of the challenge is knowing what to buy and what to do with it once you get it home, not to mention the fact that some varieties can come with a hefty price tag. All of this is exactly why I’m writing a four-part series about how to cook fish in ways that are affordable, delicious, and doable, even for the less confident cook.

Fish Done Simply

It doesn’t get much simpler than today’s recipe, which is a spin on a traditional Nicoise salad. I’ve taken some of the core ingredients of this French classic and turned it into a main-dish pasta. The fish in the equation is canned tuna, which means it couldn’t be more convenient (included in my list of Top 10 Healthy Convenience Foods). And if you think canned tuna doesn’t have a place in quality cooking, consider the fact that even the French, gastronomes that they are, rely more on canned tuna than fresh when it comes to their beloved Nicoise (or so say my two most reliable Francofiles).

And Good for You Too

The other upside of Tuna Nicoise Pasta is that it’s a nourishing one-dish meal. Tuna provides a terrific source of affordable protein, B vitamins, and selenium. Cherry tomatoes (so good this time of year) and green beans check the veggies box, and penne pasta makes this supremely family-friendly (certainly in my house). If you are lucky enough to have leftovers, it travels well in a lunch box too.

What ingredients you need

  • Pasta
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Olives
  • Good quality canned tuna
  • Lemon
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • Extra virgin olive oil or olive oil
  • Salt & pepper


    1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for pasta. When the sauce is about halfway done, stir the pasta into the boiling water.
    2. Heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Toss in the garlic, and cook until it sizzles and is just golden around the edges, about 2 minutes. Add peperoncino, let toast a minute, then add the tomatoes. Slosh out the tomato can with 1 cup pasta water, add it to the skillet, and stir. Season with the 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir in the tuna and olives, bring the sauce to a simmer, and cook until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add the capers and parsley, and simmer a few minutes more.
    3. When pasta is al dente, transfer the pasta to the sauce with tongs. Cook and toss the pasta in the sauce until all of the pasta is coated. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and toss again. Remove from heat, and toss with the grated cheese. Serve immediately.

    Reprinted with permission from Lidia's Italy in America by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali. Copyright © 2011 by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

    Lidia Matticchio Bastianich is the author of seven precious books, five of which have been accompanied by nationally syndicated public television series. She is the owner of the New York City restaurant Felidia, among others, and she gives lectures on Italian cuisine throughout the country. She lives on Long Island, New York.

    Mediterranean Pasta with Tuna and Tomatoes Recipe Notes

    The recipe is slightly adapted from a one I spied in my favorite cookbook of the moment, 5 Easy Steps to Healthy Cooking: 500 Recipes for Lifelong Wellness (affiliate link) by Camilla Saulsbury, of Power Hungry.

    Camilla’s version calls for multigrain or whole wheat farfalle and olives, but no capers. Since I haven’t found a gluten-free version of farfalle, I used Fresh & Easy Brown Rice Fusilli instead. (I think it’s just as good as Tinkyada Brown Rice Fusilli (affiliate link) and a little cheaper.)

    And since I was short on kalamata olives, I used a combination of capers and olives instead.

    Served with a simple green salad alongside, this made for a satisfying dinner. Enjoy!

    According to my calculations, each serving has 274 calories and:

    8 *SmartPoints (Green plan)
    8 *SmartPoints (Blue plan)
    8 *SmartPoints (Purple plan)
    7 *PointsPlus (Old plan)

    Curious about Weight Watchers new myWW Green , Blue and Purple plans? Watch this short video to learn more:

    If you’ve made this healthy Mediterranean Tuna Pasta, please give the recipe a star rating below and leave a comment letting me know how you liked it. And stay in touch on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the latest updates.

    Fusilli with olives, capers, tuna pomodoro

    To make the sauce: Place the plum tomatoes in a food processor and blend until they are a rough chop consistency.

    In a medium sauce pan, sweat the onion in olive oil for about 15 minutes until the moisture is cooked out completely.

    Add the sugar, tomato, basil sprigs and fennel, salt and pepper to taste, and simmer on a very low heat for about an hour.

    Then remove the basil sprigs and fennel and set aside the sauce to cool.

    To make the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

    Cook the pasta until al dente, which takes approximately 10 to 14 minutes depending on the brand.

    To make the sauce: In a medium sauce pan, lightly sweat the garlic in the olive oil.

    Add the olives, parsley, and chili flakes and cook for approximately three minutes.

    Add the tomato sauce, capers and tuna and cook for two minutes.

    Add the pasta to the sauce.

    Add 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano cheese and a teaspoon of butter and mix until all the ingredients are incorporated.


    Step 1: Wash the arugula and spin dry. Chop very coarsely. Halve the cherry tomatoes.

    Step 2: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fusilli and cook according to the package directions, until soft, with the slightest resistance to the tooth. Drain in a colander.

    Step 3: Transfer the pasta to a bowl. Add the arugula, tomatoes, olives, tuna, olive oil and vinegar. Toss. Serve hot or cold — let cool at room temperature and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

    Reprinted with permission from James Peterson’s Kitchen Simple (2011 Ten Speed Press).


    4 cups baby arugula (optional)
    1 pint cherry tomatoes
    1 lb. fusilli (spirals)
    2/3 cup pitted black olives, not out of a can
    1 lb. fresh tuna, cut into 1/2″ dice
    4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
    3 tbsp wine vinegar


    Step 1: Wash the arugula and spin dry. Chop very coarsely. Halve the cherry tomatoes.

    Step 2: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fusilli and cook according to the package directions, until soft, with the slightest resistance to the tooth. Drain in a colander.

    Step 3: Transfer the pasta to a bowl. Add the arugula, tomatoes, olives, tuna, olive oil and vinegar. Toss. Serve hot or cold — let cool at room temperature and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

    Reprinted with permission from James Peterson’s Kitchen Simple (2011 Ten Speed Press).

    How To Make Healthy Tuna Pasta Salad

    As I mentioned, this recipe comes together in just 20-minutes!

    To start, bring pasta water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. I used penne in this recipe, but feel free to use other small pasta shapes (like fusilli, farfalle, or macaroni).

    While the water boils/pasta cooks, get the other ingredients ready. Chop up the olives, cherry tomatoes, and all the fresh herbs. Flake the canned tuna in a bowl, and mix the dressing ingredients together in a small jar.

    Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and add it to a large mixing bowl along with the veggies, herbs, tuna, and a couple handfuls of baby arugula. Toss everything with the salad dressing, and you’re ready to go!

    Tuna, Chickpea and Tomato Salad

    A Tuna, Chickpea and Tomato Salad: both healthy and hearty, with juicy tomatoes and protein-packed chickpeas. A perfect quick lunch!


    • 400g (1.5 cups) tin chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
    • 180g (3/4 cup) tin tuna, drained and broken into chunks
    • 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
    • ¼ red onion, finely diced
    • 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley
    • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • ½ teaspoon sea salt
    • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


    1. Place the chickpeas, tuna, tomatoes, and red onion in a large bowl.
    2. In another bowl, add the extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, garlic, sea salt and pepper. Whisk well to combine.
    3. Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and mix thoroughly.
    4. Serve immediately.


    This salad will serve two as a main meal, or four if serving as a side dish.

    Recipe: A pasta dish with tuna and olives is ideal hot-weather fare

    Pasta with tuna and olives Claudia Catalano for the Boston Globe

    In the heat of summer, it’s nice to have a few back-pocket recipes that require very little cooking. This lemony pasta with canned tuna in olive oil, capers, and olives, fits the bill. It’s delicious hot or cold, making it a perfect dish for picnics or potlucks. Look for good quality solid albacore or yellowfin tuna that is packed in pure olive oil. Use any short macaroni shape, such as gemelli (twisted “twins”) or fusilli (corkscrews). Be sure to generously salt the pasta cooking water a general rule of thumb is 2 teaspoons salt per quart of water.

    Salt, to taste
    12ounces short pasta, such as gemelli or fusilli
    3tablespoons olive oil
    3cloves garlic, thinly sliced
    ½teaspoon crushed red pepper
    2cans (5 ounces each) tuna in olive oil (do not drain)
    cup pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
    2tablespoons capers
    Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
    ¼cup chopped fresh tarragon or flat-leaf parsley

    1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the pasta is tender but still has some bite (different shapes have varied cooking times). Before you drain the pasta, use a heatproof measuring cup to remove ¾ cup of the cooking water. Drain the pasta into a colander but do not rinse it.

    2. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil, garlic, and red pepper. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, or until the garlic is just beginning to turn light golden brown. Add the tuna with its oil and juices to the pan and stir gently. Add the olives, capers, and lemon rind and juice. Stir to combine.

    3. Add the cooked pasta and reserved cooking water to the tuna mixture. Turn the heat to medium-high and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the pasta has absorbed most of the liquid in the skillet. Sprinkle with tarragon or parsley and divide among 4 shallow bowls. Claudia Catalano


    Happy New Year! I’m feeling quite positive about 2013. I think it’s going to be a good year for all. I’ve decided to take the “glass half-full” approach. No real resolutions. Do we ever keep them? I’m just going to try to be more positive and block out the negativity. Our holidays had their ups and downs, but just spending time with family and friends, enjoying a delicious meal is what I always look forward to the most.

    After too much cooking over the holidays I was trying to think of some easy recipes to make the family as school and work soon kick back into gear. Yes, the holidays are over and it’s time to get back into the old routine… but with that renewed “glass half-full” optimistic approach to things. Make life a little easier. To start, you could make this simple Puttanesca I’ve adapted from the wonderful Lidia. Super quick and perfect for a weeknight dinner.

    Did you know Puttanesca translates to “whore’s style spaghetti?” I’ve also seen it referred to as “in the style of a prostitute” and “made by ladies of the evening.” I recall the history as follows… since the “ladies” worked late nights and weren’t able to get to the markets for fresh ingredients, they created Puttanesca by using common ingredients they already had available in their pantry. They certainly were on to something. How could the combination of anchovies, olives and capers ever be bad? Brilliant! It’s one of those dishes you find on the menu at most Italian restaurants, but personally I’d never think to order it. It couldn’t be simpler to make at home, includes all the staples you probably already have, and it whips up fast for a perfect dinner.

    I picked up Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen about a year ago. I think I bought it because a friend mentioned it had the best lasagna recipe. Lasagna is such a project, I still haven’t made it. But I have made Lidia’s sausage and peppers, spaghetti with mushrooms, garlic & parsley and this awesome dish of Puttanesca. I need to find time to make more from this book.

    Adapted from Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen

    • 35 oz can of plum tomatoes (I use Cento brand)
    • 1 1/2 cups mixed firm green olives & kalamata olives (pitted and cut in half)
    • 1 pound thick spaghetti (or other shape of choice)
    • 3 tbsp olive oil
    • 6 large cloves garlic, peeled & smashed
    • 6 anchovy fillets
    • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
    • 1/4 cup tiny capers, drained
    • Big handful chopped fresh parsley
    • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese

    Bring a large pot of water to a boil for your pasta. Cook pasta according to package directions. Remove it about 1 minute early as it will cook for a minute in the pan with the sauce.

    Meanwhile, as you wait for the water to boil, pour the canned tomatoes in a large bowl and crush them with your hands. Set aside.

    Heat 3 tbsp of olive oil on medium-high heat in a large (6qt) sauté pan. You want the pan to be big enough to hold the sauce and the pasta. Add the garlic to the olive oil and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the anchovies and break-up with the back of a wooden spoon. Add the olives to the pan and stir for 2 minutes. Pour in the bowl of canned tomatoes, sprinkle with red pepper flakes and toss in the capers. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes.

    Drain the pasta when ready and add it to the pan with the sauce. Toss the sauce and pasta together and remove the pan from the heat. Sprinkle the Pecorino cheese and combine again.

    Serve immediately with a nice glass of Italian red wine and a hunk of crusty bread. YUM!

    Watch the video: Σπαγγέτι με τόνο, σάλτσα ντομάτα, κάπαρη, πράσινες ελιές u0026 σταφίδες. Yiannis Lucacos (December 2021).