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Penne Rigate with Olives, Roasted Peppers, and Tuna

Scott Phillips

Servings: 4 to 6

This simple sauce is packed with the flavors of southern Italy—briny olives, sweet peppers, and rich tuna. Feel free to improvise by adding capers or anchovies, or by substituting canned sardines for the tuna.


  • Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
  • 1 cup black olives, such as Gaeta or Kalamata, or a mix of black and green, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup diced jarred roasted red peppers
  • 2 Tbs. coarsely chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes, including juice
  • 2 5-oz. cans tuna in olive oil, drained
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 lb. dried penne rigate or other short, sturdy pasta

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 530
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 140
  • Fat (g): 16
  • Saturated Fat (g): 2
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 10
  • Cholesterol (mg): 15
  • Sodium (mg): 1320
  • Carbohydrates (g): 67
  • Fiber (g): 5
  • Protein (g): 26


  • Bring a 6- to 8-quart pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat.
  • Heat the oil and garlic in a 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Cook for 2 minutes, pressing on the garlic with a fork to release its fragrance; don’t let it brown.
  • Stir in the olives, peppers, and sun-dried tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juice and use the fork to crush them a bit. Raise the heat to medium high and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the tuna, breaking it up with the fork, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the garlic and stir in the parsley.
  • Meanwhile, cook the pasta until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water, then drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the sauce and toss to coat, adding a little of the reserved cooking water to moisten if necessary.


Rate or Review


  • tmcclara | 05/19/2017

    Great recipe, Going make it again tomorrow. I used lots more garlic and didn't remove it. I also added the capers and plan to try it with the anchovies. This is an easy recipe to make, good for novice cooks like me.

  • MairiC | 11/19/2016

    A very nice weeknight meal...flavourful, quick, and easy. I added a generous pinch of hot pepper flakes once the garlic became fragrant, then a small sliced onion before the peppers and tomatoes. I also used dry-cured olives, which was what I had on hand, and fresh oregano instead of parsley. Topped with shaved parmesan.

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