Pasta with Tuna, Capers, and Almonds

This recipe for Pasta with Tuna, Capers, and Almonds is straight from Giada De Laurentiis’ Happy Cooking cookbook (gosh I love her).  It makes a perfect meal to whip up if you’re running short on time but still want something hearty and full of flavor.   And, you’ll most likely have most of these ingredients in your pantry already!

I know I say this all the time but I’m seriously in love with Giada’s new cookbook.  There are so many delicious and healthy recipes for literally any mood or occasion.  The reason why I liked this recipe so much is because it’s reminiscent of a big comforting bowl of pasta with marinara sauce, but it’s much more interesting and offers more complex flavors.  The saltiness of the tuna, the brininess of the capers, and the crunch of the almonds is a very appealing combination that I don’t think I would have ever thought of without Giada’s help.  AND, it’s healthy, AND it’s cheap!

This pasta dish is so perfect to make on a weeknight.  It takes almost no time and you probably won’t have to go to the grocery store at all.  This is certainly going to be a staple for me from now on.  And you know it passes the test if my boyfriend scarfs it all down and asks for more, which he did.  I made sure to rub it in his face because earlier when I asked him if pasta with tuna would be okay for dinner he replied, “do you think tuna is going to be good with pasta?”  Ugh, he doubts me.  So I made sure to read that text back to him after his third bowl.

I changed Giada’s recipe just a tad to match what I had on hand.  For instance, she calls for a 28 oz can of diced tomatoes and I only had a 15 oz can, so I used a whole diced fresh tomato in addition.  I also used a teensy bit less oil, and a touch more salt.

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Pasta with Tuna, Capers, and Almonds (serves 4)

  • 1 lb fusilli pasta or rigatoni (I used whole wheat)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes drained (or a 15 oz can, with one fresh diced tomato)
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp capers, rinsed and drained
  • 2 5 oz cans of tuna in olive oil, drained
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup toasted almonds, chopped

Directions:

Cook pasta until al dente in salted water.  Reserve about 1 cup pasta water.  In a large skillet over medium-high heat add the oil and, when hot, add the garlic.  Cook for a couple minutes until garlic starts to brown.  Add the red pepper flakes, tomatoes, and salt, and reduce the heat.  Simmer for about 5 minutes, then add the tuna and capers.  Then add the pasta, parmesan, and about 1/2 a cup of pasta water.  Stir to combine and then add the parsley and almonds to finish.  At this point if the sauce needs more liquid add a bit more pasta water.  Serve topped with a tad more cheese if desired.

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