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Penne Rigate with Tuna Sauce

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Penne Rigate with Tuna Sauce

Oh oh! It’s been one of those days: you’ve been out running errands, you’ve just arrived home, and you’ve just remembered that company is coming for dinner tonight. No time to run back out, and certainly no time to back out of the date!

What will you do?

Grab those two cans of tuna from the pantry, and let’s get busy! Tuna? For company? Sure! In fact, this dish works especially well with chunk light. And not only that, you’re going to create a gourmet dish no one will ever imagine you did in such short time. On the side, you can serve some fresh fruit, a salad, perhaps some breadsticks or foccacia.

This is one of those recipes where you play it by ear and know you won’t go wrong. The measurements are not intended to be precise.

Penne Rigate with Tuna Sauce

In a two-quart saucepan, pour enough olive oil to cover 1/2-inch deep.

Chop four large cloves of fresh garlic and add to the oil. Turn the heat on low.

Add at least one tablespoon Italian seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon minced basil, 1/2 teaspoon onion salt (be sparing and do the salt to taste *after* you add the tuna), at least two teaspoons black pepper and 5-10 shakes of crushed red pepper, depending on how hot you like it. Stir, blending well.

Squeeze in the liquid from the two cans of tuna, and then add the tuna. Stir till well-blended.

Add four tablespoons butter or margarine. Blend well.

Add 8 ounces Italian spaghetti sauce, Fra Diavolo, if possible, but other kinds of sauce will work. If you’re using homemade sauce, please be sure to use Roma tomatoes. Blend well.

Cook the penne rigate in a large pot, about 8-10 minutes, till al dente. Drain well. Pour the sauce over the penne and blend well, or place the penne on a large serving platter and serve with the sauce on top.

Sautéed green beans with garlic will make an enticing addition for this meal.

Serves four hearty eaters.

Bon appetit!

Till next time,


©2003 Michelle Young

Author of “Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow: Meeting the Challenge of Our Multicultural America & Beyond” (Caddo Gap Press, 1996)

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