Pasta with Tuna, Tomato & Olives


Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Apples for Jam

Apples for Jam

By Tessa Kiros

Published 2010

  • About

Olives may or may not be appreciated by young ones, so I just add a few, leaving them in big chunks so the grown-ups can fish them out. I like to use penne, farfalle or spaghetti with this sauce. Adults can also sprinkle a little chopped chilli or chilli oil over theirs.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and squashed a bit
  • 25 g(1 oz) leafy celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 400 g(14 oz) tinned diced tomatoes
  • 185 g( oz) tuna in oil, drained
  • 3 basil leaves, torn
  • tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 8 pitted kalamata olives, halved
  • 400 g(14 oz) pasta (penne, farfalle or spaghetti)
  • olive oil, to serve


    Heat the oil and garlic in a wide saucepan. When you can smell the garlic, add the celery and sauté over gentle heat until it softens and turns pale gold. Add the tomatoes, season with salt and a twist of pepper and simmer for 10–15 minutes, breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Add the tuna, breaking up the chunks with your wooden spoon. Add 3 tablespoons of hot water, let it come to the boil and then stir in the basil, parsley and olives. Simmer for a few minutes before removing from the heat. The sauce should not be too dry, so add a few more drops of water if necessary.

    Cook the pasta in a large pan of salted water, following the packet instructions. Drain, keeping a cupful of the cooking water. Toss the pasta with the sauce, adding a little of the cooking water if necessary to help the sauce coat the pasta. Serve immediately, with a drizzle of olive oil and a little black pepper for the adults.