Common kitchen staples take on a Mediterranean flair when tossed together in this penne with tuna, plum tomatoes, and black olives.

The amount of tuna given here equals half of a typical can of Italian tuna (about 150 grams or 5 ounces); use the other half for a sandwich or salad. The important thing is that the tuna be preserved in olive oil.

This recipe is one of Judith Jones' meals for one.
Servings: Serves 1
  • Salt
  • 3 ounces penne (or fusilli or shell pasta)
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion or fat shallot , thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 clove garlic , peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 large, ripe plum tomatoes (about 7 ounces), cut into rough chunks
  • 1 Tbsp. white wine
  • 2 1/2 to 3 ounces canned tuna in olive oil
  • 10 Italian or Greek black olives , pitted and quartered
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Directions
    Bring a large pot of water with 1/2 tablespoon salt to a boil. Drop in pasta; stir it around.

    Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat; sauté onion or shallot 3 to 4 minutes, until limp. Add garlic and tomatoes and sauté for another minute. Splash in wine and cook down, about 4 minutes. Break up tuna, dropping chunky flakes into the pan. Stir in olives. Add at least 1/4 cup pasta water to the sauce. When pasta is al dente (taste to be sure), use a big strainer-like spoon to transfer it to the pan. Stir to combine, and cook for a minute. Add salt to taste if needed and more pasta water if sauce is too dry. Spoon pasta with sauce into a bowl, and scatter parsley on top.

    Adapted from The Pleasures of Cooking for One, by Judith Jones, copyright © 2009, with permission from the publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.


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