Tuna, Red Pepper, Garlic and Basil Pasta

My entire house has been under construction for several months now, and we’re living right in the midst of it. My kitchen is functional, but not exactly one that I’m accustomed to, partially because I keep thinking of all the ways I want it to be in the future, insha’allah, but also because I refuse to unpack every single kitchen gadget, bowl and plate that I own- yet.

That said, I’m pretty used to “camping” for real and indoors now and have found some of my best recipes come out of a limited space and limited amount of edibles because it forces me to think outside the box of what I dream of cooking and instead cook what is simple, practical and makes good use of what’s on hand.

That’s how this recipe came about. I’m always falling back on Sicilian or Italian dishes simply because they are so second nature to me, but also because they require the ingredients I love most and have on hand the most.

tuna pasta with basil

So, because I had a head start for Iftar the night I made this pasta, I was able to post it to Instagram and Facebook, where I got many requests for the recipe.

gorgeous tuna pasta with basil

Here goes- Bismillah and Buon Appetito, everyone!

tuna pasta with basil 2


Tuna, Red Pepper, Garlic and Basil Pasta

By Yvonne Published: August 1, 2013

  • Yield: (4-6 Servings)
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Ready In: 35 mins

If you love southern Mediterranean foods and make them frequently, you probably have many of the ingredients for this recipe on hand already; if not, they're easy to get and simple to assemble in this quick and light pasta dish you don't have to be a fish lover to enjoy.



  1. Cook spaghetti as directed by the package instructions. Drain and set aside to cool in a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil on top.
  2. In a large saute pan, gently heat two tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the onion and the garlic and saute until translucent, careful not to burn the garlic.
  3. Open and drain the cans of tuna of all liquids then add to onion/garlic cooking in the pan. Mix the tuna to combine, then add the red pepper paste.
  4. Add the salt and pepper and reduce heat to low. Bring the cooked pasta to the pan and use tongs or two forks to fluff the pasta in the pan so that it does not burn. Add the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil.
  5. Chop the basil finely then add to the pan and combine well. Cook on low, covered, for about 5 minutes.
  6. Bring the dish to a serving bowl. Add freshly grated Parmesan on top, a little more black pepper, if desired, and a few sprinkles of red pepper flakes for an extra kick.

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