Tuna and bean pasta

Pasta with Tuna and Borlotti Beans


Pasta with tuna and borlotti beans


Pasta with tuna and borlotti beans is a favourite in our house when we want a tasty, but quick pasta sauce.  It’s great as all the ingredients come out of cans, so they can be stored in the cupboard for the occasion when you look in the fridge and realise that either you forgot to go shopping, or that everything’s gone mouldy, or, of course, in the event that there’s some kind of zombie armageddeon going on outside and you can’t leave the house to buy fresh vegetables. The sauce is actually worth making, even if you’re not under any of those constraints.

You could make the tuna and bean sauce from scratch by chopping tomatoes and simmering them until they are reduced, soaking the beans overnight and then boiling them for an hour, making the pasta with your own two hands, and well,  you could even go out and catch the tuna if you want to go that far, but none of that is necessary, unless you have someone coming over that you REALLY want to impress.

If you can’t find borlotti (cranberry beans), any white bean, such as cannellini or navy, will work just as well.  Who thinks up these names?  Navy beans should be dark blue, right?! Just DON’T use kidney beans. Somehow, they don’t seem to gel well with the tomato and tuna. Though, I’m always suspicious with anything with the name “kidney” in it…..

Honestly, right at this moment, even writing about food is a little much.  The temperatures are hovering over 30 degrees C every day and not getting much cooler at night, as we’re in some kind of weird unseasonal heat-wave (let me shake my fist at climate change for a bit here).  The most I can eat right now is bruschetta or melon and prosciutto as it’s just too hot to turn on the oven.  Let’s hope the heat goes away soon or my next posts are going to be about how to eat a nectarine as a full meal without squirting juice all over yourself, or how to make ice…..our cat is suffering mightly with her thick fur coat.  She’s spending her days lying on her back with her legs in the air (oops..maybe she’s actually dead…I haven’t checked for a while). Here’s Phoebe the cat in an elegant pose……


Phoebe the cat


and here she is in a shameless hussy pose.   For the record: she doesn’t eat much at our house, but goes “restauranting” around the neighbourhood, so I can’t get her to slim down.  The vet told me off for her being so fat.  I asked her, “What do you want me to do?  Lock her in a cage?”.  Oh, and it has to be said that the vet herself had a triple chin.  She’s lucky I didn’t tell her off! Anyway, Phoebe’s fat and proud of it!


Shameless hussy


To find out how to cook pasta like an Italian does, check out my handy guide.

By Lisa Watson


Prep Time2 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time12 minutes
Servings: 4 people


  • 360 g 12.2 oz Short Pasta
  • A 120g 4.2oz can, drained Tuna in olive oil
  • 4 – 5 Tbsp Borlotti or cannelini beans
  • 400 ml 1 1/2 cups Tomato puree
  • to taste Salt


  • Boil the pasta following the packet instructions.
  • In a medium-sized pot, heat 2 – 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • Add the tomato puree, salt and beans.
  • Drain the tuna and break it apart with a fork.  Add it to the tomato mixture.
  • Let the sauce simmer on a low heat until the pasta is cooked and drained, then mix into the pasta.