Friday, March 23, 2012

tuna, lemon and garlic pasta with buttery breadcrumbs

the other night i (quickly) whipped up this tuna pasta for dinner. i must say, i had my doubts about how it was going to turn out (hot tuna? um... ick) but i was pleasantly surprised by how delicious it was. the lemon adds a nice brightness and acidity to it and the parsley adds a fresh note. i added a few pinches of red pepper flake for a little heat and it was a welcome addition. 

the buttery, toasted panko breadcrumbs lent the dish some texture and buttery crunch. so good.

i used the pasta above since it was on sale at the store, but this dish would be great with a variety of pasta- spaghetti, buccatini, egg noodles. basically, use whatever you have on hand.

original recipe via epicurious

1 can (6 ounces) tuna (chunk or solid in olive oil), drained
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup fruity olive oil
few pinches red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 cup panko or breadcrumbs
2T butter

place tuna in pasta serving bowl and break it into large bite-size pieces. add garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and stir gently to combine. set aside to warm to room temperature, or preferably, place the bowl (be sure it's heatproof) over the pasta pot to warm the ingredients while heating the water. once the water comes to a boil, remove bowl and set aside.

while the pasta is cooking- melt the butter over medium heat in a large skillet. when it is melted, add the breadcrumbs and toast them, stirring occasionally, until they are a lovely golden brown and have a nice crunch to them. taste and season with salt if needed. set breadcrumbs aside.

cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. drain pasta well and immediately add to sauce in bowl. sprinkle with parsley and toss. serve at once with breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese and  pepper.


  1. Try replacing the tuna with sardines sometimes. So good! If you're into that sort of thing. :) Love this simple dish!

  2. i just picked up a can of sardines the other day at the store, said to the mister that i wanted to buy some soon and see if i like em, and then put them down and walked away. time to go back to the store, thanks!