Posted by: Brooke Hukill | February 4, 2009

Tuna and Sun-dried Tomatoes Rigatoni

I’m posting this one for a friend looking for something to serve at her dinner party later in the week. This recipe only serves 4, so make sure you double or triple the recipe for a big party!

8 oz uncooked rigatoni pasta (I have also used Penne when it’s all I had on hand)
2 oz Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 cup Sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
1 lemon
3 tbsp EVOO (yes… I watch Rachel Ray occasionally.)
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 pouch chunk light tuna

1. Bring salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions, then drain.
2. Meanwhile, grate cheese. Pat tomatoes dry using paper towels. Slice tomatoes and chop parsley. Cut lemon into wedges; set aside. All of these things can be done ahead of time, especially for my friend that’s having a dinner party. You want to be able to enjoy your guests when they arrive, not be stressed out from preparing dinner. So do as much ahead of time and stick it in a sealed container in the fridge so it’s ready when you are. Chopping is the most time consuming part of cooking, so when possible do it ahead of time.
3. Heat oil, pressed garlic and pepper flakes over medium-high heat 1-2 minutes or until garlic turns golden (do not allow to burn). Immediately stir in tuna and tomatoes; cook 2-3 minutes or until tomatoes are tender. Add pasta, half of the parsley and half of the cheese to Skillet; toss gently.
4. To serve, divide pasta among serving plates. Sprinkle with remaining parsley and Parmesan. Serve with lemon wedges on the side.

Now, I personally use way more Sun-dried tomatoes and Parmesan, than this recipe calls for. Some ingredients can be altered to your taste. If it’s an adults only crowd and you know they like spicy, add some extra crushed red peppers to liven it up. I like to add extra of that too, but usually can’t because of the kiddos that run this house! 😉 This recipe would go great with a Ceasar Salad and some Garlic-Parmesan French Bread. YUM!

One last tip: Since I am posting this for a friend of mine that…well doesn’t cook all that often, I thought I should mention something important for those inexperienced chefs. You should always use fresh ingredients when its possible. I know before I started cooking – like really cooking, I would use powdered garlic or the pressed garlic in a jar, dried parsley and the Parmesan in the green sprinkle can! There are so many reasons to use fresh ingredients. They are usually more cost effective, healthier and they absolutely make your food taste better. I know that for me, I was intimidated by fresh ingredients and didn’t have the proper tools. There are still plenty of things in the kitchen that I am intimidated by, but with a well equipped kitchen I am always willing to try new things. I know that it is expensive to equip your kitchens, which is why I became a Pampered Chef to begin with. It is a great way to stock your own supplies for next to nothing as a consultant I get so much for free as incentives or very discounted. And I never want my friends to pay full price for anything, so I always suggest hosting a show to earn free products for themselves as well. Okay, so I could go on and on about this topic so I’ll save that for another post. Point is you can do anything you set your mind to when you equip yourself!

(Pampered Chef items I used in this recipe are the garlic press, deluxe cheese grater and my favorite Santoku knife. These can all be found on my website at



  1. Thanks so much for posting this for me! Since a certain special someone doesn’t really like fish I decided to switch the tuna for chicken, then I decided to do a blackened breast separately with my own spice rub. The pasta was a hit because of the crushed pepper. Everyone commented on how spicy it was. So, although I had to alter it a bit to please the picky, it was a hit! I can’t wait to try it again with the tuna. =)

  2. Thanks so much, I am “eating down” my pantry and needed a recipie with just what I had on hand. Have a great day!

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