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Pasta with Tuna & Lemon | Fresh, Light Summer Pasta Recipe

With a savory punch that doesn’t feel heavy, this fresh pasta recipe is perfect for summer! The sauce is completely raw, which is quick and convenient but means that good ingredients are a must.

Pasta with Tuna & Lemon | Fresh, Light Summer Pasta Recipe

Finding the Right Tuna for Pasta

Canned tuna has a pretty poor reputation in many cultures, but we’re here to say that very high quality canned fish exists and is delicious. A good canned tuna needs to be in olive oil and in large, whole chunks. One tip is to look for jarred fish as it allows you to see the tuna and confirm that it doesn’t resemble shredded cat food. Callipo is one of our favorite Calabrian brands, which is becoming widely available around the globe.

If you can’t find a good canned tuna, skip this recipe and maybe try Pasta alla Checca!

Watch the Pasta Grammar video where we make Pasta al Tonno e Limone here:


Makes: 3-4 servings

Cook Time: 20 minutes

For this recipe, you will need:

  • 20-30 kalamata olives, sliced

  • 2 tbsp. (25g) capers, diced

  • 2-3 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley, or to taste, plus some extra for topping

  • 8 oz. (225g) canned whole chunk tuna in olive oil, drained

  • 1 lemon

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • Fresh black pepper

  • Dried oregano

  • Salt

  • 12 oz. (340g) spaghetti

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

In a large mixing bowl, combine the olives, capers, chopped parsley and tuna. Using a fork, break the tuna up and shred it. Grate all of the zest of the lemon into the bowl, then juice the lemon and add this as well. Finish with a generous drizzle of olive oil, and a pinch of black pepper and dried oregano to taste. Stir all together.

When the water comes to a rolling boil, salt it generously and add the spaghetti. Cook as directed, or until al dente to your taste. When the pasta is nearly done, add a few spoonfuls of hot pasta water into the sauce bowl and stir it in.

Transfer the spaghetti into the bowl with tongs or a pasta fork. Stir all together until the sauce is evenly mixed in, along with another drizzle of olive oil to lightly coat all of the pasta. Serve immediately, topped with some extra chopped fresh parsley.

Buon appetito!

Want to try another tuna pasta? Check out our recipe for the REAL “Spaghetti alla Bolognese!” Looking for more quick and easy, raw pasta sauces? Give Pasta alla Checca a shot!

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Catherine Barrett
Catherine Barrett
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