Pasta with Tuna, Olives and Roasted Red Peppers

Today's recipe is easy, scalable and inexpensive to make, and it's quite a bit fancier than many typical low-rent pasta dishes. Better still, it's a fully balanced meal, with protein, complex carbs and veggies all rolled into one recipe.

Most of these ingredients can be easily kept on hand in your pantry at all times, which makes this recipe perfect for a last-minute dinner when you don't have much time to cook.

Pasta with Tuna, Olives and Roasted Red Peppers
(modified from 365 Ways to Cook Pasta)

3-4 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, cut into thin lengthwise strips
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 7-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained and cut into thin strips
1 6.5-ounce can tuna, drained
3-4 Tablespoons black olives, chopped coarsely
1 pound pasta (most any type will do)
3-4 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped coarsely

1) Cook pasta according to directions.
2) Meanwhile, saute onions in oil on medium-high heat until they begin to brown and caramelize, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic, saute for another 1-2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and saute another 1-2 minutes just to heat through. Toss with pasta and serve at once.

Serves 4-5, can be easily doubled.
Two brief recipe notes:
1) The recipe specifies that you slice the onions into "thin lengthwise strips." You can reduce your defenseless onion to strips in seconds by cutting the onion in half and running the knife across each half like this:

2) Don't underestimate the culinary importance of giving the onions a good browning in the oil as shown in the picture below. When I want to caramelize onions (as opposed to simply sauteeing them), I'll use a higher heat setting under the burner--usually medium high as opposed to just medium. This caramelization gives the onions a slightly sweet taste, adding an extra depth of flavor to the entire dish. Enjoy!

Related Posts:
How to Make Risotto
Pasta Puttanesca
Applications of the 80/20 Rule to Diet, Food and Cooking
How to Create Your Own Original Pasta Salad Recipes Using the Pasta Salad Permutator

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Michele said...

I think I will make this to take for dinner tonight. I'm working the late shift and this will be perfect! I'll be leaving out the red peppers...we just don't play well together. Thanks for reminding me how versatile pasta and tuna can be.

Daniel said...

Hi Michele, thanks for your comment. I'm always happy when I spark a dinner idea for a reader. :)


Unknown said...

Looks like dinner tomorrow! Yum.

Karen said...

I could eat pasta three timies a day and this looks delicious, especially with the roasted peppers in it!

Amanda said...

Canned tuna is fantastic in pasta, don't you think? Especially if you can get your hands on the imported oil-cured tuna--yum!

Daniel said...

Hi Fiona:
Happy to be the source of a good dinner idea.

Me too, I am a total pasta addict. It's so easy to make and there are so many ways to make it.

Funny, but until the recipe I had never tried tuna in pasta. Definitely an oversight on my part.

Thanks for your comments!


Melissa said...

I've never tried tuna with pasta either. I guess maybe I should? You make it sound lovely. And cheap is good right now!

But I have to say the minute I see tuna and roasted red peppers, I think of this:

You may like those.

Anonymous said...

Mmm ... as a student I definitely appreciate this one! Fast and affordable always wins in my book.

Daniel said...

Melissa: Wow. Now THAT sounds amazing. Thanks for the link.

Jessica: Thanks for the feedback! Fast and affordable is my middle name. :)


Holly said...

Great recipe and perfect timing. I was just trying to find something to do with Tuna that wasn't the dreaded same old thing...a sandwich.

Daniel said...

So glad to hear it Holly! Thanks for the feedback and for reading.