Lemon & Pepper Tuna Bucatini
Prep Time: 15 mins | 4 Servings
Bucatini is a beautiful pasta with a satisfying texture that looks like extra thick spaghetti with a hole in the center, and it’s the ideal pasta for a simple lemon and cream sauce like the one in this recipe. There’s just enough sauce to lightly coat the noodles, and the dish is studded with chunks of lemony, peppery tuna and seasoned breadcrumbs for added texture and flavor. Short on time? Feel free to leave the breadcrumbs out. They’re a nice addition but not a dealbreaker, and sometimes you just need to get dinner on the table.
For the Lemon Pepper Breadcrumbs (optional):
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, smashed
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt or table salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
For the Pasta and Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons plus ½ teaspoon fine sea salt or table salt, divided
- 12oz bucatini or spaghetti
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
- 2 pouches Bumble BeeⓇ Lemon & Pepper Seasoned Tuna
- 2 tablespoons large capers, drained
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon (optional)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Finely grated Parmesan, for garnish
- Freshly ground black pepper, for garnish
- Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)
If desired, prepare the lemon pepper breadcrumbs. In a small skillet over medium-low heat, warm oil until hot. Add garlic clove and cook until fragrant and the clove is golden brown on both sides. Use a spoon or fork to transfer garlic to a cutting board.
Add breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper to oil in skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until the crumbs are toasted, about 5 minutes. Take skillet off the heat. Finely chop the browned garlic clove and stir into the crumbs along with the lemon zest. Set aside.
Fill a large saucepan with water and add 2 tablespoons salt. Cover and bring to a rapid boil over high heat. Add pasta, stir well, then boil uncovered until al dente, according to package directions.
While the pasta cooks, place a large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and heat until the oil shimmers in the pan. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in tuna, capers, and pepper flakes and cook, stirring, 1 minute more. Pour cream into skillet and add lemon zest and juice. Bring to a simmer. At this point, if the pasta is not cooked yet, take this skillet off the heat and wait for the pasta to finish cooking.
When the pasta is tender, drain it well, reserving ½ cup of the pasta cooking water. Transfer the drained pasta to the skillet and place the skillet over medium heat. Use tongs to toss the pasta in the creamy sauce until coated, adding a little of the pasta cooking water as needed to create a smooth sauce that lightly coats the pasta.
Serve the pasta immediately in wide bowls and garnish with breadcrumbs, Parmesan, pepper, and parsley as desired.