Italian Tuna and tomato penne pasta recipe

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10 min


15 min

This is a wonderful and colourful – the red of the tomatoes, the green of the basil leaves and the pale colour of the penne pasta reminds you of the colours of the Italian flag – pasta lunch, ideal for enjoying with friends in the spring or summer. Don’t be frightened to play around with the ingredients; add more garlic, oil or lime juice to taste and, for a change, try fresh coriander leaves instead of (or as well as) the fresh basil leaves.


  • 250g dried penne pasta
  • 2 x 160g cans tuna chunks in brine, drained
  • 16 baby plum tomatoes, halved
  • 100g unpitted black olives, drained
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 2tbsp olive oil or to taste
  • juice of 1 lime
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • a handful of fresh basil leaves


  • Boil the pasta in a pan of salted water according to packet instructions (usually 10-12 mins) and drain, rinse and leave to cool.

  • Tip the tuna, tomatoes, black olives, spring onions, garlic, olive oil and lime juice into a bowl and stir together gently.Divide the pasta between four bowls and arrange the tomato and tuna mix on top.

  • Season with salt and pepper, and scatter with small (or torn larger) basil leaves.

Top tip for making Italian Tuna and tomato penne pasta

Buy the olives from a deli counter; that way, you get the amount you need for the recipe you’remaking.

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