Bucatini pasta with red pepper, tuna and red onion sauce

Here is a really fabulous pasta dish which you can make at the last minute. I have on occasion made it on a Sunday when I didn’t want to launch into something overly elaborate, but nevertheless wanted to eat a lovely meal! The combination of red pepper, tuna and red onion is, needless to say, really inspired. And as usual this dish of bucatini pasta could be resisted only for as long as it took to take the photo! Let’s follow our recipe together: start by gathering together a red pepper, a can or two of tuna (who hasn’t got any tuna in the house?), parsley (and here the herbs on your balcony come into their own) and capers. These are ingredients which don’t require much work and, when combined, are a perfect match for each other. Remember that the red onion is one of the stars of this dish, and does more than form the base of the sauce as so often happens in other recipes. Cut them coarsely and then make sure that while being cooked in a frying pan, they retain a minimum amount of substance and crunch!


25 minutes Total time
20 minutes Active time
Serves 3 persons
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Start by putting the pasta on to cook in boiling salted water. Slice the onion and cut the red pepper into small cubes. Drain the tuna of any water or oil. Brown the onions in a frying pan with a little oil. You should not keep the flame too low so that the onions retain some substance: they are not only a basis for the sauce but also a key ingredient in their own right, so they shouldn’t be reduced to a mush, but should provide plenty of their own flavour. Add the brandy to the onions and reduce. After a few minutes add the peppers and continue cooking everything through well. Then add the tuna and some capers. Adjust the salt, add the chopped parsley and then mix the sauce with the pasta. Serve with fresh parsley, a few capers to decorate and, if you like, a few slivers of raw red onion.

If you don’t have any brandy in the house you could use something else, such as white wine or marsala. With the former you’ll get a drier finish, with the latter you’ll have a somewhat sweeter and more aromatic sauce.
Here’s a recent discovery about the red onion: it is rich in nitrogen oxide, an agent involved in obtaining an erection.

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