Tuna puttanesca with tagliatelle

“This is the best thing you’ve made for ages!”

So spake DH as he tucked into a bowlful of this delicious savoury pasta. Kipper, I’m sure, would have voiced her approval too, but she was too busy stuffing saucy pasta into her mouth. 

Not a bad result for something I threw together quickly after getting home from a playdate with Kipper. 

I had intended to make a simple tomato sauce, but spotted some olives in the fridge and decided to up the ante a bit and give it the puttanesca treatment. Having tarted up the tomato sauce, I then decided we all needed some protein, so in went the tuna. There was slightly more thought to it than that, but probably not much. It is really delicious though! 

Kipper had been having a mega-meltdown as I put the finishing touches to this, largely because a) she was really tired, b) she was really hungry, and c) her Dad had just taken away the iPad so he could set the table. Fortunately the promise of some extra olives in her portion was enough to calm her down, and once she’d actually eaten some, thus solving problem b (above) she was transformed into a much more pleasant dinner companion.

I thought that this puttanesca-esque sauce was rich, savoury and delicious just as it was, but DH does like to go in for an umami overload sometimes, so he splashed some Worcestershire sauce onto his as well. He encouraged Kipper and I to do the same, but we both agreed that we were enjoying it just fine without. Maybe he doesn’t get enough salt in his diet? Who knows. You are of course welcome to follow his lead if you feel the tuna puttanesca needs a little extra oomph.

I was pretty pleased with this dish, especially since it was ready in only just over half an hour, and largely from store cupboard ingredients. This made three good sized servings, and would probably stretch to four if you had a side dish of vegetables or a salad to go with it.

A rich, flavoursome tomato sauce with olives, capers & tuna. A tasty twist on traditional pasta puttanesca that will become a family favourite dinner!

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Tuna puttanesca
Serves 3
Write a review
Total Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
280 calories
26 g
21 g
13 g
16 g
2 g
305 g
343 g
6 g
0 g
10 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 280
Calories from Fat 113
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g
Saturated Fat 2g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 8g
Cholesterol 21mg
Sodium 343mg
Total Carbohydrates 26g
Dietary Fiber 4g
Sugars 6g
Protein 16g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 2 tbsp olive oil
  2. 1 small-medium onion
  3. 0.5 tsp crushed chilli
  4. 400g tin peeled tomatoes
  5. 2-3 cloves garlic
  6. 1 tsp dried basil
  7. 100ml vegetable stock
  8. 10-12 pitted black olives
  9. 2 tsp capers, drained
  10. 185g tin tuna in sunflower or olive oil
  11. Zest of half a lemon
  12. Cooke tagliatelle or other pasta to serve
  1. Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Peel and dice the onions, and add to the oil with the chilli. Fry for a few minutes until the onions are soft and beginning to brown.
  2. Add the tinned tomatoes to the pan and crush in the garlic. Use a spoon to break up the tomatoes. Add the basil and vegetable stock, mix well, and bring to a simmer. Cook, covered, for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Stir in the olives and capers and cook for another few minutes. The sauce should be starting to thicken.
  4. Drain the oil from the tuna into the sauce, then flake in the fish. Mix well to combine. Add the lemon zest, stir and, cook until the tuna is just heated through - about 3 minutes.
  5. Serve hot with tagliatelle or other pasta of your choice.
Family-Friends-Food https://family-friends-food.com/
If you’re looking for more recipes that use a tin of tuna, you’re in luck! Try these:
My tuna ‘meatballs’ with courgetti, spaghetti & tomato sauce.
Or my zesty tuna pasta, which can be served hot or cold.
From some of my fellow bloggers, we have:
Cheesy tuna pasta from Fab Food 4 All.
Tuna Nicoise Tatties from Foodie Quine (scroll down the page to find the recipe).
Pepperoncini con Tonno from Natural Kitchen Adventures.
Tuna meatball and courgette risotto from Anne’s Kitchen.


  1. Fantastic! Love this recipe!

  2. I love it when a dish you just throw together works and the family rave about it! Love the sound of this pasta and all those flavours, I only recently discovered that I liked capers in pasta dishes when I’d always picked them off pizzas! Thanks for linking to my dish:-)

  3. I reckon olives in tomato sauce can only be a good thing. You’re daughter has very good taste. Wondering what I could sub the tuna for other than cheese – hmmm.

    • Thank you! I’m sure she would agree with you!
      You can just leave the tuna out and have it without. I’m not sure you need to sub something else in. H x.

  4. I’ve been craving tuna for about a week now. I think you’ve just helped me decide what I cook next!!! It looks delicious!

    Chocolates & Chai

  5. I adore puttanesca sauce and realise now that I haven’t made it in ages. Thanks for the tasty reminder.

  6. Yummy! I don’t enough tuna so this is nice recipe to get back into eating more. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  7. My daughter absolutely loves tinned tuna. This will make a fab quick easy family tea although I will have to leave out the olives and capers from her portion!

  8. Lovely. You can’t beat a tin of tuna. I always have some in my cupboard and could eat it every day if I could! You’ve got me craving pasta now.. Of on the hunt for some gluten free magic!

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