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  • Writer's picturePasta Grammar

Pasta with Cream Cheese & Tuna Fish Recipe | Quick, Easy & Delicious Pasta

What do Italians make when there’s little in the pantry and not a lot of time to spare? Two classic choices are pasta with tuna fish and pasta with cream cheese. Both are delicious, quick and simple but they can also be combined! This is a rare exception to the general Italian rule of not serving cheese and fish together. When you’ll try it, you’ll understand why!

Pasta with Cream Cheese & Tuna Fish Recipe | Quick, Easy & Delicious Pasta

A Note on Canned Tuna Fish

Canned tuna gets a bad rap, for a good reason. A lot of it is very poor quality and, unless masked with something like mayonnaise, pretty much tastes like cat food. However, if you take the time to find an excellent canned tuna you might be surprised to find that it’s—well—excellent!

Look for whole chunk tuna canned under olive oil. It definitely won’t be as cheap as “Chicken of the Sea” but it will taste about a million times better!

Watch the Pasta Grammar video:


Makes: 2 servings

Cook Time: 20 minutes

For this recipe, you will need:

  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 whole garlic clove, peeled

  • 2 anchovies, under oil

  • 5 ounces (140 g) canned, whole chunk tuna fish under olive oil, drained

  • ⅛ cup (30 ml) white wine

  • Fresh black pepper

  • Salt

  • 5.5 ounces (155 g) farfalle pasta

  • 6 ounces (170 g) low-fat cream cheese (you can substitute with normal cream cheese, but will need to slightly increase the amount of water used in the sauce)

  • ½ ounce (15 g) grated Pecorino Romano cheese, or to taste

  • Chopped fresh parsley for topping

Put a large pot of water on to boil. While it comes up to temp, you can begin the sauce.

Heat the olive oil, garlic and anchovies in a large pan over medium/low heat. Stir the anchovies until they dissolve in the oil, then add the drained tuna. Sauté for 2 minutes, then add the white wine and black pepper, remove and discard the garlic clove, and bring the sauce to a gentle simmer. Let the sauce cook for about 5 minutes, then turn off the heat. While the sauce cooks, you can boil the pasta.

When the water comes to a rolling boil, salt it generously and add the farfalle. Set a timer for 2 to 3 minutes less than the recommended “al dente” cook time. Meanwhile, place the cream cheese in a mixing bowl and gradually stir in hot pasta water until you achieve a creamy sauce—it should be thin enough to coat the pasta but definitely not watery. Stir in the pecorino cheese and set the sauce aside for later.

When the pasta is ready, use a slotted spoon to transfer it into the tuna. Stir all together over medium/high heat, adding some pasta water as necessary to maintain moisture and a slight simmer in the pan, until the pasta is al dente to your taste.

Turn off the heat and stir in the cream cheese sauce. Serve immediately, topped with a sprinkle of chopped parsley.

Buon appetito!

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Liliana Moore
Liliana Moore
3 days ago

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