Tuna, caper and chilli spaghetti recipe

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Indulge in the irresistible flavors of Italian cuisine with our delectable tuna pasta. Made with the finest Italian tuna, al dente pasta, and a medley of aromatic herbs and spices, this dish is a true delight for your taste buds. Perfectly balanced and brimming with savory goodness, our Italian tuna pasta will transport you to the enchanting streets of Italy with every bite. Experience culinary bliss with this authentic Italian recipe that will leave you craving for more.

Tuna, caper & chilli spaghetti recipe

This tantalizing Tuna, Caper & Chilli Spaghetti recipe combines the richness of tuna, the tanginess of capers, and the spicy kick of chilli to create a flavorful and satisfying pasta dish. Perfect for seafood lovers and those who enjoy a bit of heat in their meals, this recipe offers a delightful combination of textures and flavors.

Short history

The Tuna, Caper & Chilli Spaghetti recipe combines flavors from different culinary traditions to create a delicious and satisfying dish. Here’s a short history of each ingredient:

Tuna has been an important part of human diets for centuries. It is a type of fish found in warm seas around the world. Tuna has been harvested for its meat and oil for thousands of years, with civilizations like the Greeks and Romans using it as a staple food source. Canned tuna became popular in the early 20th century, providing a convenient and long-lasting way to enjoy this nutritious fish.

Capers are the pickled flower buds of the caper bush, a perennial plant native to the Mediterranean region. They have a tangy and slightly salty flavor, making them a popular ingredient in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines. Capers have a long history and have been used in cooking for thousands of years. They were highly prized by the ancient Greeks and Romans and have been mentioned in various historical texts.

Chilli peppers are native to the Americas and have been cultivated for thousands of years. They were introduced to Europe by Christopher Columbus and quickly spread around the world, becoming a key ingredient in many cuisines. Chilli peppers add heat and flavor to dishes and are enjoyed in various forms, including fresh, dried, and ground. They have become an integral part of many traditional dishes, including the famous Italian cuisine.

Spaghetti is a type of pasta that originated in Italy. Its name comes from the Italian word “spago,” meaning “thin string” or “twine.” While the exact origin of spaghetti is debated, it is widely believed to have been introduced to Italy from Arab cultures during the Arab invasions of Sicily in the 9th century. Spaghetti quickly became popular in Italy and gained international fame as one of the most beloved pasta varieties worldwide.

The combination of these ingredients in the Tuna, Caper & Chilli Spaghetti recipe brings together flavors from the Mediterranean, the Americas, and Italy, creating a dish that is both tasty and culturally diverse.

The Art of Pasta: Exploring Italy’s Time-Honored Tradition

Italy is known for its rich culinary traditions, and pasta plays a central role in Italian cuisine. Here are some Italian traditions related to pasta:

  1. Pasta Shapes: Italians take pride in the variety of pasta shapes available. Each shape is thought to pair better with certain sauces. For example, long and thin pasta like spaghetti or linguine is often paired with oil-based or seafood sauces, while tubular shapes like penne or rigatoni are commonly used with thicker, chunkier sauces.
  2. Sunday Pasta: Many Italian families have a tradition of eating a big pasta meal on Sundays. This tradition often involves gathering together with extended family and enjoying a leisurely meal. The pasta is typically accompanied by a rich sauce, such as a ragù or a tomato-based sauce with meat.
  3. Homemade Pasta: Making pasta from scratch is a cherished tradition in Italy. Families often come together to make pasta by hand, using flour and eggs, or sometimes just flour and water, depending on the region and the type of pasta being made. This process is considered an art form, and recipes are often passed down through generations.
  4. Regional Specialties: Italy’s different regions have their own unique pasta dishes and traditions. For example, in northern Italy, you’ll find dishes like tortellini, ravioli, and tagliatelle served with rich cream or butter-based sauces. In the south, you’ll find pasta shapes like orecchiette and cavatelli served with fresh seafood or tomato-based sauces.
  5. Pasta Shapes for Special Occasions: Some pasta shapes are associated with specific holidays or celebrations. For example, during Christmas time, you may find cappelletti or tortellini in brodo (filled pasta served in broth) being served. On Easter, many Italians enjoy dishes like lasagna or baked pasta with cheese and vegetables.
  6. Pasta al Dente: Italians have a preference for cooking pasta al dente, which means it is cooked until it is firm to the bite. Overcooking pasta is generally frowned upon, as it can result in a mushy texture. Achieving the perfect al dente texture is considered a skill, and Italians take pride in cooking their pasta just right.
  7. Pasta as a Primo Piatto: In Italian cuisine, pasta is typically served as a primo piatto, which is the first course of a meal. It is followed by a secondo piatto, which is the main course typically featuring meat or fish. This tradition allows pasta to shine as a standalone dish before the rest of the meal.

These are just a few examples of the many traditions related to pasta in Italy. Italian cuisine is incredibly diverse and varies from region to region, so there are countless more pasta traditions and dishes to explore.

Recipe variations to explore

Here are a few variations you can try for your Tuna, Caper & Chilli Spaghetti recipe:

Lemon Garlic Tuna Spaghetti: Sauté minced garlic in olive oil until fragrant, then add canned tuna, capers, and red chilli flakes. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the mixture and toss with cooked spaghetti. Garnish with chopped parsley and lemon zest.

Tomato and Basil Tuna Spaghetti: Start by sautéing diced onions and minced garlic in olive oil until translucent. Add canned tuna, capers, and red chilli flakes, followed by diced tomatoes. Simmer until the tomatoes break down and create a sauce. Toss with cooked spaghetti and garnish with fresh basil leaves.

Creamy Tuna Spaghetti: Create a creamy sauce by combining softened cream cheese with a splash of milk or cream. In a separate pan, sauté diced onions and minced garlic in olive oil. Add canned tuna, capers, and red chilli flakes, then stir in the creamy sauce. Toss with cooked spaghetti and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.

Mediterranean Tuna Spaghetti: Sauté sliced bell peppers, black olives, and red onions in olive oil until softened. Add canned tuna, capers, and red chilli flakes, and cook for a few more minutes. Toss with cooked spaghetti, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese and fresh oregano.

Thai-style Tuna Spaghetti: In a pan, heat coconut milk with Thai red curry paste until fragrant. Add canned tuna, capers, and sliced red chillies. Simmer for a few minutes, then toss with cooked spaghetti. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro and lime wedges.

Feel free to adjust the quantities of ingredients according to your taste preferences and dietary needs. Enjoy experimenting with these variations!

The best kind of drinks that go well with Tuna Pasta

When it comes to pairing drinks with a Tuna, Caper & Chilli Spaghetti recipe, you’ll want to consider the flavors and spiciness of the dish. Here are some drink options that can complement the dish:

  1. White Wine: A crisp, light-bodied white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio can work well with the flavors of the dish. These wines offer refreshing acidity that can balance the richness of the tuna and the spice of the chili.
  2. Rosé Wine: A dry rosé with good acidity can also be a great choice. Look for a Provence-style rosé or one made from Grenache or Syrah grapes.
  3. Light Beer: If you prefer beer, a light, crisp beer like a pilsner or a wheat beer can be a good option. The carbonation can help cleanse the palate between bites.
  4. Sparkling Water: If you prefer non-alcoholic options, sparkling water with a squeeze of lemon or lime can provide a refreshing and palate-cleansing effect.
  5. Iced Tea: A chilled iced tea, either unsweetened or lightly sweetened, can complement the flavors of the dish while providing a cooling effect.

Remember, personal preferences vary, so feel free to experiment with different options to find the combination that suits your taste. Enjoy your meal!

Health benefits

Tuna, caper, and chili spaghetti is a delicious and flavorful dish that not only tastes great but also offers several health benefits. Here are some of the health benefits associated with the key ingredients used in this recipe:

  1. Tuna:
    Tuna is a lean source of protein and is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart health. Omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to reducing inflammation, improving brain function, and lowering the risk of heart disease. Tuna also contains essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D, vitamin B12, and selenium.
  2. Caper:
    Capers are low in calories and fat, making them a great addition to a healthy diet. They are also a good source of antioxidants, which help protect the body against free radicals and oxidative stress. Additionally, capers contain quercetin, a flavonoid with anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
  3. Chili:
    Chili peppers contain a compound called capsaicin, which gives them their spicy taste. Capsaicin has been found to have several health benefits, including boosting metabolism, reducing appetite, and promoting weight loss. Chili peppers are also high in vitamins A and C and antioxidants, which help strengthen the immune system and fight inflammation.
  4. Spaghetti:
    While spaghetti is a carbohydrate-rich food, it can still be part of a healthy diet when consumed in moderation. Opting for whole wheat or whole grain spaghetti provides more fiber, which aids digestion and promotes feelings of fullness. Additionally, the complex carbohydrates in spaghetti provide energy for the body and are a source of B vitamins and minerals.

It’s worth noting that the health benefits can vary depending on the specific ingredients used, cooking methods, portion sizes, and overall dietary choices. To maximize the nutritional value of this dish, consider using high-quality tuna, organic capers, fresh chili peppers, and whole grain spaghetti.

Here are just a few reasons for why you’ll love this Tuna, caper & chilli spaghetti recipe

Delicious flavor combination: The combination of tuna, capers, and chili in this spaghetti recipe creates a unique and delicious flavor profile. The tuna adds a meaty and savory element, while the capers provide a briny and tangy taste. The chili adds a hint of spice and heat, adding depth to the dish.

Quick and easy preparation: This recipe is perfect for busy days when you want a satisfying meal without spending hours in the kitchen. It requires minimal prep work and can be ready in less than 30 minutes, making it ideal for weeknight dinners or last-minute meals.

Healthy and nutritious: Tuna is a great source of lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart health. It is also low in calories and fat. The capers and chili provide additional health benefits, including antioxidants and metabolism-boosting properties.

Versatile and customizable: While the recipe calls for spaghetti, you can easily substitute it with your preferred pasta shape or even use whole wheat or gluten-free pasta if desired. You can also adjust the amount of chili to suit your spice tolerance or add other ingredients like olives or sun-dried tomatoes for extra flavor.

Balancing flavors: The combination of the savory tuna, tangy capers, and spicy chili creates a well-balanced dish. The flavors complement each other beautifully, ensuring that no single element overpowers the others. Each bite offers a harmonious blend of tastes that will keep you coming back for more.

Impressive presentation: This dish not only tastes great but also looks visually appealing. The vibrant colors of the tuna, capers, and chili contrast beautifully with the pasta, creating an attractive and appetizing plate. It’s a recipe that can impress your guests at a dinner party or elevate your weeknight dinner routine.

Overall, this Tuna, caper & chili spaghetti recipe offers a delightful combination of flavors, ease of preparation, and health benefits. It’s a versatile and customizable dish that can be enjoyed by both seafood lovers and those looking for a quick and nutritious meal.

Tips and Tricks for making Tuna , caper & chilli spaghetti recipe

Tuna, caper, and chili spaghetti is a delicious and flavorful dish. Here are some tips and tricks to help you make the most of this recipe:

  1. Choose high-quality tuna: Look for canned tuna packed in olive oil for better flavor and texture. It’s worth investing in a good brand to ensure the best taste.
  2. Cook the pasta al dente: Follow the instructions on the pasta package and cook it al dente, which means it should still have a slight bite to it. This will prevent it from becoming mushy when mixed with the sauce.
  3. Drain the tuna properly: Before adding the tuna to the sauce, drain it well and use a fork to break it into smaller chunks. This will help distribute the flavor more evenly throughout the dish.
  4. Sauté the garlic and chili: In a separate pan, sauté minced garlic and chopped chili in olive oil until fragrant. This step allows the flavors to develop and infuse into the oil, enhancing the overall taste of the dish.
  5. Add capers and lemon zest: Capers provide a tangy and briny flavor that complements the tuna. Add them to the pan with the garlic and chili, and also grate some lemon zest for a bright and fresh note.
  6. Combine the tuna with the sauce: Once the garlic, chili, capers, and lemon zest are cooked, add the drained tuna to the pan and mix everything together. This will allow the tuna to absorb the flavors of the sauce.
  7. Adjust the spiciness: If you prefer a milder heat, remove the seeds from the chili before chopping it. If you want it spicier, you can add some red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce.
  8. Season carefully: Be mindful of the saltiness of the capers and the tuna. Taste the dish before adding any additional salt, as it may not be necessary.
  9. Garnish with fresh herbs: Just before serving, sprinkle some fresh herbs like parsley or basil over the pasta. This adds a pop of color and freshness to the dish.
  10. Serve immediately: Tuna spaghetti is best served right away to enjoy the flavors at their peak. The pasta can absorb the sauce if left sitting too long, making it dry.

Remember, cooking is an art, and you can always adjust the recipe to your personal taste preferences. Feel free to experiment and make it your own.

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Tuna, caper & chilli spaghetti recipe

Tuna, caper & chilli spaghetti recipe

Tuna, Caper & Chilli Spaghetti: This delicious and vibrant pasta dish features al dente spaghetti tossed with flaky tuna, briny capers, and a kick of spicy chilli. The combination of flavors creates a harmonious balance that will tantalize your taste buds. It's a quick and easy recipe that is perfect for a weeknight dinner, yet impressive enough to serve to guests.
5 from 14 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Italian, Mediterranean
Servings 4
Calories 326 kcal


  • Large pot: For boiling the spaghetti.
  • Colander: To drain the cooked spaghetti.
  • Large skillet or frying pan: For cooking the sauce and combining it with the spaghetti.
  • Wooden spoon or spatula: To stir the sauce and spaghetti.
  • Kitchen tongs: To toss and combine the spaghetti with the sauce.
  • Grater or zester: If you want to add some zest from a lemon or grate some Parmesan cheese on top.
  • Can opener: If you are using canned tuna.
  • Cutting board: For chopping the ingredients, such as the capers and chillies.
  • Chef’s knife: To chop the capers and chillies.
  • Garlic press or knife: To mince the garlic cloves.


  • 2 x 80g canned tuna in oil Rio Mare brand
  • 3 garlic cloves sliced
  • 1 heaped spoon capers
  • 1 chili pepper diced (optional)
  • 150 g cherry tomatoes
  • 50 g tomato paste
  • Fresh basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 100 g grated Parmesan cheese
  • 300 g spaghetti


  • Start by boiling water in a large pot. Add salt to the boiling water and cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions until it reaches the desired doneness. Drain the spaghetti and set it aside.
    300 g spaghetti
  • Heat a large skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Add the canned tuna (including the oil) to the pan and break it up into smaller chunks using a spatula or fork. Sauté the tuna for about 2-3 minutes until it’s slightly browned.
    2 x 80g canned tuna in oil
  • Add the sliced garlic, capers, and diced chili pepper (if using) to the pan. Sauté everything together for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    3 garlic cloves, 1 heaped spoon capers, 1 chili pepper
  • Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and add them to the pan. Cook for about 3-4 minutes until the tomatoes start to soften and release their juices.
    150 g cherry tomatoes
  • Stir in the tomato paste and mix well to combine it with the other ingredients. Cook for an additional 2 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
    50 g tomato paste
  • Tear a few fresh basil leaves into smaller pieces and add them to the pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir everything together and cook for another minute.
    Fresh basil, Salt and pepper to taste
  • Add the drained spaghetti to the pan with the tuna mixture. Toss everything together gently, ensuring that the spaghetti is coated evenly with the sauce.
  • Sprinkle the grated Parmesan cheese over the spaghetti and toss it once again to incorporate the cheese.
    100 g grated Parmesan cheese
  • Serve the tuna spaghetti immediately, garnished with a few fresh basil leaves and an extra sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Keyword caper, chilli, olive oil, parmesan cheese, spaghetti, tuna

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