You might think that kids won't like something, and then they will totally surprise you and like it. Or you might be dead sure they are going to love something and...NOPE. But this easy tuna puttanesca is a surprising winner. And it contains extra veggies!
So puttanesca. Miss 8 wanted to try it because of the Lemony Snickett books. Having read them myself, there are far worse things from the books that she could be keen to try.
The standard puttanesca never contains zucchini, broccoli or tuna, but the flavour of the sauce is the same. I first had puttanesca in Italy, when I was on exchange as a 16 year old. My host mother made it for me and I looked up the name in the dictionary. Well. I was in shock. It said "prostitute style!" I didn't know what to think.
But it was delicious and my host mum did her best to describe to me what it was, that the name came from the fact that the sauce used to be made between clients and had to be quick to make. I think I just giggled through the whole explanation.
But. Here's the thing. It works. Easy tuna puttanesca is exactly that. E-A-S-Y. And it's kid friendly. I chop the anchovies superfine and leave the olives whole. That way, they don't know about the anchovies and they can remove the olives. To be entirely honest, the anchovies give this such and amazing flavour, to leave them out would be completely wrong.
A word on the tuna, I only buy it in springwater. Never in oil. The reason? Well, I like to be able to control the amount of oil that I put into food plus I like to be able to control the quality of the olive oil!
As always, I have used Barilla pasta to make this- it's my favourite brand (not sponsored) and I love that it actually does work as al dente.
Need more pasta inspiration?
Back to that puttanesca, the beauty of this as a dish for kids is that you can actually make the sauce in the time that it takes to cook the dried pasta. That means, it's effectively an 11 minute dinner. That's what easy tuna puttanesca pasta is. Something you can get done in basically NO TIME with stuff that you probably already have in your pantry and fridge.
It's a camping meal, an "oh my god what can I cook??" meal, a quick lunch when people drop by meal. It's pretty much the easiest pasta recipe you could make.
Easy tuna puttanesca pasta
- 500 grams dried spaghetti
- 3 tbsps olive oil
- 1 medium brown onion finely diced
- 1 garlic clove crushed
- 6 anchovy fillets finely chopped (optional)
- 425 grams tuna in springwater drained and flaked
- 1 grated zucchini
- 1 head broccoli chopped into florets
- 2 x 400g cans crushed tomatoes I use Mutti polpa
- ½ cup kalamata olives
- Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Salt the water and put your pasta on to boil. Follow the instructions on the packet to cook it until al dente.
- Meanwhile, add your olive oil to a medium frypan over medium heat.
- Fry the onion for 3 minutes or until soft.
- Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the anchovies and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add the tuna (drained) and the tomatoes, zucchini olives to the sauce and bring to the boil.
- When the pasta has 3 minutes to go, add the broccoli.
- Drain the pasta and broccoli and add to the sauce.
- Stir through and coat the pasta in the sauce.
- Serve hot.