Penne with Tuna Provençal Sauce

Enjoy this classic red sauce based recipe kicked up with flakes of tuna. Feel free to use your favorite cut of pasta and for an extra kick, toss in a couple pinches of crushed red pepper flakes.  


  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 medium size yellow onion, small diced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, grated or finely chopped
  • 2 T capers
  • 1/2 cup black olives, pitted and chopped
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 1 28-oz can whole plum tomatoes
  • 2, 5-oz. cans of solid white albacore tuna, drained and lightly broken into chunks
  • 15-20 basil leaves, stacked and thinly sliced, chiffonade, some set aside for garnish
  • 1 pound penne rigate


Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt the water.

Place a medium to large soup pot over medium to medium-high heat and add olive oil. Add the onion and cook for 5-7 minutes or until translucent and tender. Season with salt and pepper, add the garlic and stir for another minute until fragrant. Add the capers and olives, stir again to heat through, and add in the red wine. Let simmer for about 3-5 minutes or until reduced by about half and then add the can of tomatoes. Mash with the back of a wooden spoon or using a potato masher. Let the sauce simmer for 15-20 minutes to let the flavors come together. Season gently with salt and pepper as the capers and olives are already salty themselves. Add the chunks of Bumble Bee tuna and basil and gently stir to combine. Let the pot of sauce hang out over low heat until you are ready for the pasta.

A few minutes after the sauce is simmering, cook the penne to al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Toss the pasta with the sauce and some of the starchy water and top with the remaining basil. 

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