This is a quick, delicious, and easy one-dish recipe that uses readily available ingredients of canned tuna, pasta, lemon, and kale and it’s ready in 30 minutes.
- 1 lb. Penne or favorite pasta, regular or gluten-free
- 4 cups kale, torn into bite-sized pieces
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Juice of 3 lemons
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/3 cup Olive Oil
- 4 –6 Garlic Cloves, crushed
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 3 5–oz. can good quality tuna in water; tuna in oil can be used but reduce the amount of olive oil above.
- 1/4 cup black Kalamata olives or 2 tablespoons capers
- 1/4 cup Parmesan Reggiano cheese, grated*
- Cook pasta according to the package direction, adding salt to the water. Scoop out one cup of hot boiling pasta water just before draining.
- Prepare kale – Rinse torn kale in a colander or salad spinner and place kale in a large serving bowl with lemon juice, zest, and salt.
- Knead kale for a minute or two to soften the leaves. Allow kale to sit while the pasta cooks. The lemon juice, salts, and kneading soften the leaves, improving the kale’s texture and digestibility.
- Make tuna sauce – heat oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and crushed red pepper. Sauté 30 seconds. Add tuna; stir to break up the pieces and heat through. Remove from heat.
- Scoop out one cup of pasta water in a coffee mug and reserve. Drain the pasta and add it back into the cooking pot.
- Add the tuna mixture to the pasta pot.
- Fold in wilted kale leaves and mix thoroughly.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve the pasta dish in the serving bowl that held the wilting kale, if desired. Sprinkle with Parmesan Regioanno cheese and garnish with olives.
Note: This recipe was updated on Jan 20, 2023.
*Italians do not usually serve Parmesan cheese with a fish dish, but I like how the cheese and lemon make a rich sauce.
You can use tuna in oil if you prefer – it has more flavor, but reduce the amount of olive oil. Also, try this recipe using arugula instead of kale Tuna Pasta with Arugula and Lemon.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 Minutes
- Category: Fish & Seafood
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Italian
- Serving Size: 5
Keywords: One-dish pasta, pantry meal, tuna, One-dish meal