Tuna Tomato Pasta

Serves 4 to 6
This is my oldest son’s go-to dish when there is supposedly nothing left in the house to cook— meaning that if you have a well-stocked pantry, you can get a meal ready in minutes without having to shop. Always have a few “pantry recipes” like this up your sleeve.


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, plus more for garnish
  • 3 cans tuna, well drained
  • 2 cans crushed tomatoes, with juice
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano, thyme, or rosemary
  • 1 pound penne or fusilli pasta


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.
  2. Heat a medium saucepan and add the olive oil, swirling to coat the pan. Saute the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the red pepper flakes. Add the tuna and stir, being careful not to break up the chunks too much.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes, season with salt and black pepper, bring to a boil, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes. Add the chopped herbs a few minutes before serving.
  4. While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta, drain, and toss with the sauce. Top with a drizzle of olive oil and an extra sprinkle of red pepper flakes.
cook's note
If you've got fresh garlic on hand, whack the clove with the heel of your hand or the side of a knife to slightly flatten it and the peel will slip right off.
Need help with the ingredients? Check our pantry list: