Pasta al tonno recipe – Paltry Pantry Meat

Paltry Pantry, Episode One: Pasta Al Tonno

Did you guys catch the first episode of my new Facebook Live show yesterday, Paltry Pantry? Well, if you didn’t – here it is!

ICYMI, Paltry Pantry is inspired by Stephen Baldwin’s cameo in the classic movie, Half Baked. Remember?! He’s the guy that can make a bong out of anything!

Well, Stephen might be able to make a bong out of anything, but I can make a meal out of anything, even the paltriest of pantries! The goal of this new FB Live show is to prove that all that stuff that’s in your pantry, gathering dust and feeling sad, can be whipped up into a delicious, wholesome meal in 30 minutes or less (preferably less).

Now I want to be super clear with you guys that these shows are completely off the cuff and REAL: I don’t scout the location beforehand, I don’t do any shopping beforehand, and in most cases I will have never been in or seen these kitchens before. So, I am working totally blind AND just working with what people have in their pantries and fridges/freezers.

My first guest was Katie Sturino of The 12ish Style. Katie told me that she usually orders all her  food on Seamless or eats out, and she had no idea what was in her pantry or fridge (minus a very good amount of La Croix sparkling water). I have to admit that, as we were going through her pantry at first, I started to get a little nervous. She had such a random assortment of foods that I couldn’t figure out how to put together. I started really panicking when I had udon noodles and canned chickpeas on her counter and was trying to wrack my brain as to WTF I could make with those two ingredients, while trying to keep it together on FB Live, like:


But eventually, after a little more pantry digging, I noticed that she had some canned tuna, and then I spotted some tomato sauce in her fridge… I made a silent prayer that she had some other pasta in addition to the half eaten package of udon noodles and – PRAISE BE! – she did! Once I had those three ingredients, I knew I could make pasta al tonno. Luckily, once we did a little more digging, we found that she also had red chili pepper flakes and two fresh lemons. Then, I was off to the races. Check out the Paltry Pantry episode to see how it all came together, and I typed up the recipe below!

"Pantry Pasta" al Tonno

Serves 4-6; Cook time about 20 minutes.


1 (12 oz) bag of brown rice pasta

1 (25 oz) jar of 365 roasted garlic tomato sauce

1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil

2 cans of tuna, drained

1 (14.5 oz) can of green beans, drained

1 Tablespoon of red chili pepper flakes

Zest from 1 lemon

1/4 cup of fresh parsley, minced



  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add enough salt so that the water tastes like the sea.
  2. Meanwhile, in a skillet, add the olive oil and then the tomato sauce. Heat the sauce over high heat until it is bubbling, stirring frequently. Once bubbling, turn down the heat to medium-low. Allow the sauce to cook down so that it thickens, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Once sauce has thickened, add in the cans of tuna (remember to drain the water or olive oil first). Then add in the red chili pepper flakes. Stir and let everything cook together for about 5 minutes. Then add in the green beans (again, remember to drain them  first) and stir gently. Reduce the heat to a simmer.
  4. Cook the pasta according to package instructions and then drain the water. Add the pasta to the skillet with the sauce and toss gently to coat evenly.
  5. Serve the pasta in bowls or plates and top each serving with a generous pinch of the fresh chopped parsley and a small pinch of the lemon zest. Enjoy.

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