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Penne with Broccoli and Tuna

(Serves 4)
Penne with Broccoli and Tuna
Penne with Broccoli and Tuna is a dish that you can put together in less than 30 minutes.
Most of the work is in cutting up the vegetables.  The dish is also very versatile.  If you don't like tuna, add
some cooked chicken.  Substitute asparagus or artichokes for the broccoli.  To make it vegetarian, replace
the tuna with tofu.  To simplify it even further, buy ready-made pesto.  To make it healthier, use whole
wheat penne. This recipe may be served hot or at room temperature.  Any leftovers can be refrigerated and
reheated in a microwave for just a minute.

Note that the recipe calls for canned tuna in olive oil. 
This type of tuna usually comes in 3 ounce or 5 ounce cans, or 7.5 ounce jars. 
It is sometimes labeled Tonno in Olive Oil.
Ingredients:

2 cups broccoli, cut in bite-size pieces
8 ounces penne pasta
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
Salt and pepper
Pesto (recipe below)
2 tablespoons scallions, chopped
3 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
10-12 black olives, sliced
5 to 7 ounces canned tuna in olive oil
Parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions:

Place broccoli in a microwave-safe dish with 2 tablespoons water.  Cover.
Microwave for 1-1/2 minutes, drain, rinse under cold water, and set the broccoli
aside.  (Alternately, the broccoli may be blanched in boiling water for 1-1/2
minutes.)

Cook the pasta in boiling salted water under al dente.  Drain and reserve 1 cup
of pasta cooking water.

Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the
garlic and red pepper flakes.  Saute for 1 minute.  Add the broccoli and saute
until broccoli is tender, about 2-3 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine broccoli mixture with pasta, pesto, scallions,
tomatoes, and olives. Break up the tuna into bite-size pieces and stir into the
pasta.  Add some of the oil from the tuna.  If the pasta seems too dry, add a
little of the reserved pasta cooking water.  Place pasta on a serving platter. 
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Pesto:

10 to 12 fresh basil leaves
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
10 pignoli nuts
Salt and pepper
Olive oil (about 1/3 cup)

In a food processor, chop basil, garlic, Parmesan, nuts, salt and pepper.
Add olive oil slowly to make a medium-thin sauce.
Penne with Broccoli and Tuna
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