Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman
I always make sure I have some ingredients on hand so that I could whip up a pantry pasta whenever my fresh groceries are dwindling, and this is a great example of one that uses almost all non-perishable ingredients. Olive tapenade adds a ton of bright, briney flavor to this dish with almost no effort – and if you just have green olives on hand, you could give those a chop and throw them in instead. Canned tuna is always a really handy ingredient in any pantry, and the addition of protein is always welcome!
When possible, I like to add at least one fresh element to pantry pasta just to make it more vibrant. In this case, some parsley or greens liven it up, and some lemon zest to give it that refreshing floral note.
Pantry Pasta With Tuna And Olive Tapenade
- 1 pound short pasta such as farfalle, rigatoni, penne, etc
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic smashed and peeled
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- 1 6.7 ounce jar green olive tapenade (or whatever you have)
- 2 5 ounce cans of tuna in olive oil, drained
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese plus more to serve
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest from 1 lemon
- 1 cup parsley leaves or baby arugula chopped, optional
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Season generously with salt. Add the pasta to the water and cook for 2 minutes less than package directions, about 10 to 12 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and the garlic and cook until the garlic is aromatic and beginning to brown. Add the red pepper flakes if using, the tapenade and the drained tuna. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir gently to combine being careful not to break apart the tuna completely.
- When the pasta is ready, add 1/2 cup of the pasta water to the skillet and return it to medium heat. Using a large slotted spoon or a spider, remove the pasta from the water directly to the pan with the tuna mixture. Sprinkle the bare pasta with the parmesan cheese and toss well to combine allowing the tapenade and pasta water to create a sauce. Add more pasta water if needed. Stir in the peas, lemon zest and the parsley if using. Top with more parmesan cheese if desired.