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Spaghetti With Tuna, Lemon & Rocket

by . Featured in NIGELLISSIMA
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Introduction

I am one of the few people I know who does not like canned tuna, and so I surprise myself by the fact that I love this instant pasta sauce made with the stuff. Maybe it's the sharpness provided by the lemon, the heat of the chilli flakes, the sprightliness of the spring onions and the tender pepperiness of the rocket, but this supper - the easy result of a quick forage in fridge and kitchen cupboard - is a regular fixture in my eating diary. As, I trust, it will be in yours.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

I am one of the few people I know who does not like canned tuna, and so I surprise myself by the fact that I love this instant pasta sauce made with the stuff. Maybe it's the sharpness provided by the lemon, the heat of the chilli flakes, the sprightliness of the spring onions and the tender pepperiness of the rocket, but this supper - the easy result of a quick forage in fridge and kitchen cupboard - is a regular fixture in my eating diary. As, I trust, it will be in yours.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Image of Nigella's Spaghetti with Tuna
Photo by Petrina Tinslay

Ingredients

Serves: 2

Metric Cups
  • 200 grams spaghetti
  • salt for pasta water (to taste)
  • 1 x 150 - 200 grams can or jar of oil-packed tuna (ventresca if budget and opportunity allow) drained
  • zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
  • ½ clove of garlic (peeled)
  • 3 spring onions (finely sliced)
  • ¼ teaspoon dried chilli flakes (or to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt flakes
  • 1 x 15ml tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 25 grams rocket
  • 8 ounces spaghetti
  • salt for pasta water (to taste)
  • 1 x 6 - 8 ounces can or jar of oil-packed tuna (ventresca if budget and opportunity allow) drained
  • zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
  • ½ clove of garlic (peeled)
  • 3 scallions (finely sliced)
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ounce arugula

Method

  1. Put a big pan of water on to boil for the pasta and, once boiling, salt the water and add the spaghetti, cooking according to packet instructions, though it's best to start checking 2 minutes before it should be ready.
  2. While that's cooking, fork the drained tuna into a large bowl, and add the lemon zest and juice and grate in (or mince and add) the garlic.
  3. Still using your fork, add and mix in the sliced spring onions, then season to taste with the chilli flakes and salt and, finally, add the extra-virgin olive oil, beating with your fork to combine.
  4. Before draining the spaghetti, scoop out a little pasta-cooking liquid, then toss the drained pasta into the bowl of tuna, onions, etc., and mix together really well, adding a spoonful or so of pasta-cooking water to bring some starchy creaminess to the sauce. Add the rocket leaves and gently work them through the pasta before dividing it between 2 bowls.
  1. Put a big pan of water on to boil for the pasta and, once boiling, salt the water and add the spaghetti, cooking according to packet instructions, though it's best to start checking 2 minutes before it should be ready.
  2. While that's cooking, fork the drained tuna into a large bowl, and add the lemon zest and juice and grate in (or mince and add) the garlic.
  3. Still using your fork, add and mix in the sliced scallions, then season to taste with the chilli flakes and salt and, finally, add the extra-virgin olive oil, beating with your fork to combine.
  4. Before draining the spaghetti, scoop out a little pasta-cooking liquid, then toss the drained pasta into the bowl of tuna, onions, etc., and mix together really well, adding a spoonful or so of pasta-cooking water to bring some starchy creaminess to the sauce. Add the arugula leaves and gently work them through the pasta before dividing it between 2 bowls.

Tell us what you think

What 3 Others have said

  • I have just cooked this dish for my family as we wanted a light, healthy lunch. We all thought it was absolutely delicious, I would definitely make this again. I think next time I would add a whole clove of grated garlic instead of half and some fresh chopped parsley too. Very summery & probably the best and most elegant tuna pasta dish I have tried.

    Posted by Sloth on 1st August 2020
  • Made it for the first time yesterday (it was also my first attempt at a recipe from Nigella. Loved it. This will be a regular meal for me. Loved the combination of tuna and lemon and might add more chili next time. But anyway, thank you for this recipe.

    Posted by ToineGoA on 31st July 2020
  • Even though I am not a big fan of tuna myself, this recipe, I believe because of both lemon and rucola, is a real treasure sent to me on a fish-eating Friday! Generally, I use lemon zest in almost all red meat or shrimp-based pasta camaraderie. Cheers, Nigella, once again!

    Posted by Waldeberg on 31st July 2020
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