Pirate Pasta


4 to 6 servings
1 pound penne pastapenne pasta, dried1
1 ½ cups (6 ounces) grated Pecorino Romano cheesepecorino romano cheese6
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oilextra-virgin olive oil¼
8 ounces mushrooms, such as cremini, button or shiitake, sliced cremini mushrooms8
2 cloves garlic, peeled and left wholegarlic2
1 (10-ounce) or 2 (5-ounce) cans tuna in olive oil, such as Tonnino, drained can italian tuna in oil1
½ cup (about 18) medium green olives, pitted and halvedgreen olives½
¼ cup tomato pastetomato paste¼
2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsedcapers2
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakesred pepper flakes½
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus extra for seasoningkosher salt2
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoningfreshly ground black pepper½
½ cup low-sodium chicken brothlow-sodium chicken broth½


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water. Place the pasta and 1 cup of cheese in a large bowl. Toss until coated.

In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 to 6 minutes until the mushrooms begin to brown. Add the tuna, olives, tomato paste, capers, red pepper flakes, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Using a wooden spoon, break up the tuna into 1-inch pieces. Add the chicken broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Remove the garlic and discard.

Pour the tuna mixture over the pasta, add the remaining 1/2 cup cheese and basil. Toss until coated, using the reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve.
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