It’s six p.m. and you just got home from work. You’re starving. You pour yourself a glass of white wine and look in your pantry. You find a couple jars of tuna that you have left from that tuna salad kick you were on a few weeks ago, some pasta, a lonely shallot, and capers (always have a jar handy). You look at the white wine in your hands and think, “There can be some magic here.”
This pasta gives pasta aglio e olio vibes, mainly since that’s almost what it is, but with tuna. The basis of that recipe is to build flavor by cooking garlic in oil, using the oil in the tuna jar, and adding white wine. Then toss the pasta in the flavorful oil and starchy pasta water to coat it. Capers and white wine cut the richness of the oil by providing crucial acidity and, thus, balance.
Go for Long Pasta, Not Short
Linguine is easily replaced by spaghetti, bucatini, or fettuccine in most aglio e olio recipes, including this one. It’s the length of the pasta that matters most here. Short pasta shapes do not usually work when the sauce is light and glossy.
More Fast and Easy Pasta Recipes
- Pasta Carbonara
- Warm Caprese Salad
- Brown Butter Cacio e Pepe
- Creamy Cavatappi
- One-Pot Taco Pasta
Cook the pasta:
Cook the linguine according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 1/3 cups cooking water.
Make the sauce:
Drain the oil from the tuna cans and reserve; set the tuna aside. Heat the tuna oil and extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in the white wine and cracked pepper, and cook undisturbed, until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Stir in the capers.
Finish the pasta and serve:
Reduce the heat to medium heat. Add the cooked pasta, 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water, and salt. Toss and stir constantly to coat, about 2 minutes (add more pasta water 2 tablespoons at a time, if needed, for a creamy consistency).
Remove the pan from the heat. Add the reserved tuna and gently toss to distribute. Divide evenly among serving bowls. Serve immediately, sprinkled with parsley, if using.
Refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days.
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