Super easy and fast to make, this tuna pasta from Italy is a great solution as a week-night dinner. Delightfully simple!

In Italy, one of the very first dishes that you learn to make is tuna pasta because it’s so easy. Seafood pasta is an Italian staple and this is the simplest version! Tuna in oil, also known as tonno sott’olio, is a common and traditional ingredient in Italy. Blue fin tuna are abundant in the Mediterranean Sea and they have been enjoyed by Italians for thousands of years. Preserving this tasty fish in extra virgin olive oil is a traditional practice and many authentic recipes use tuna in oil.

This recipe uses mostly ingredients you’ll already have in your pantry so it’s great in a pinch. Fresh peas are ideal but if you have a bag of frozen peas ready to go that’s perfectly fine! Peas are a great source of Vitamin C and E as well as in zinc, fiber and antioxidants. In my pantry, I like to stock up on cans of tomato puree and diced tomatoes to make an easy homemade pasta sauce when I’m short on dinner ideas. And, of course, different varieties of pasta are another one of my pantry essentials. This tuna pasta recipe can be made with any short pasta variety so if you don’t have penne its ok!

In Italy, this is one of the most common pasta dishes to prepare at home. I love how this recipe is ready to go in just 20 minutes. There is also a variation on this recipe that uses white onion instead of garlic. If you like this option more, just substitute the 2 garlic cloves with 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped. Just remember to sauté it for at least 5-8 minutes before adding the rest of the ingredients. I hope you enjoy!

Tuna Pasta with Peas (Italy)

Giorgia Fontana
4.45 from 9 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine French
Servings 2
Calories 538 kcal


  • 6 oz penne pasta, or any other short pasta variety
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can albacore tuna in oil (5oz or 7oz)
  • 1/2 cup peas, fresh or frozen
  • 1/3 cup tomato puree
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add penne pasta and cook until al dente, stirring occasionally.
  • In the meantime, prepare the sauce. In a frying pan, add olive oil, tuna and minced garlic. Toss for 2 to 3 minutes, breaking the larger chunks of tuna with the help of a wooden spoon.
  • Add the peas, stir and wait for another 2 minutes.
  • Finally, add tomato purée, and season with salt and pepper.
  • Cook on medium-low for 10 minutes. If the sauce becomes too dry, you can add one or two tablespoons of pasta water.
  • When the pasta is ready, drain it and pour it in the pan with the sauce. Toss on medium heat for 30 seconds.
  • Serve immediately.


Calories: 538kcalCarbohydrates: 74gProtein: 38gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 372mgPotassium: 778mgFiber: 6gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 515IUVitamin C: 20mgCalcium: 44mgIron: 3mg
Keyword tuna pasta salad
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Another delicious Italian pasta recipe with tuna is Pasta alla Puttanesca with Canned Tuna. If you like tuna pasta dishes this is a must try! Check it out here.

About the Author: Giorgia Fontana
Giorgia was born in a small town on the Italian Riviera, half the way between Genova and the Cinque Terre, just a few miles away from where pesto was invented. She has a background in psychology and neuroscience and is now completing her training to become a licensed psychologist while working as a web writer. As most of the time happens in Italy, it was her lovely grandmother that taught her how to cook and enjoy every bite of simple and genuine food. Giorgia loves preparing meals for family and friends and her specialty are authentic Sicilian and Ligurian dishes. Other than cooking, her greatest passions are traveling and trekking. Her biggest dream is to be able to see (and taste!) as much of the word as possible.
Mediterranean Living

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