Tuna and Broccoli, with caramelised onions and a light sauce

Tuna and Broccoli Pasta, with caramelised onions and a light sauce

Surprised that I’m posting a differing version of this Tuna and Broccoli. Still, this is much more springlike. And probably a lot healthier as it doesn’t have lots of single/light cream. Besides, it’s not smothered in freshly grated hard cheese, usually Grana Padano. Here I’ve gone for partially pan-fried broccoli florets as broccoli is on special offer in one of my local supermarkets. Besides, I haven’t eaten Brassicas in ages. Possibly one of the reasons why I’ve been feeling so blue of late.

This would, of course, be far more delicious (and healthier) with either frozen or fresh tuna steaks. For me, though, this is a cheap and cheerful midweek lunch/dinner that’s relatively healthy. OK, canned tuna has far less Omega 3 than fresh or frozen. Still, using canned tuna is better than none. The organic stock cubes I’m using at the moment are very low salt. Because of that I’m using a whole stock cube rather than the usual ½. If yours is very strong in flavour go with less.

Don’t know about you but I never boil broccoli: especially as more nutrients are kept if you don’t. Besides, I don’t really like the smell of my sink after boiled broccoli has been strained. Broad beans, or fava beans, are really nice with this, too. Leave out the tuna and this is great as a vegetarian dish, especially if you use a mix of the veg already stated.

Tuna and Broccoli Pasta, with caramelised onions and a light sauce


  • oil, either rapeseed or olive
  • 1 x medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 x garlic clove, peeled and either chopped or sliced in half
  • 1 x 185g (6.52 oz) or 130g (4.58 oz) drained weight can of tuna flakes in brine, well drained
  • 120g (4.23 oz) or more x broccoli florets, sliced into smaller pieces and soaked for 5 minutes in cold water
  • 1 x teaspoon dried oregano – optional
  • 1/2 – 1 x organic vegetable stock cube
  • 200ml (0.42 pt US Liq) x cold water
  • 1 x bay leaf, ripped
  • 1/4 x teaspoon cayenne pepper OR 1/4 x teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • pasta of personal choice – I use spaghetti made from 100% organic durum wheat, about 75g (3 oz) per person (as it states on my pack)
  • fresh curly parsley, freshly snipped before serving
  • thin slice of lime, squeezed over just before eating – optional
  • small handful of pumpkin seeds per person – optional

Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.


  • After preparing the onions add them to a heavy-based pan with enough oil to coat its base. On electric heat No 2 (out of 6) allow to settle for about 20 minutes, stirring through occasionally. Add the garlic, reduce the heat to No 1 and continue to cook until they turn pale golden in colour.
  • In another pan or saucepan add enough oil to cover its base and put on heat No 2. Prep the broccoli: I find that if, after splitting the florets, they’re split smaller not only will they cook quicker but, importantly, it’s easier to check for unwanted beasties – as I call them. Anyway, once they’ve soaked grab a handful, shake off excess water and get them in the pan. Add a lid for the first 10 minutes, checking them after 5 just in case of excessive scorching. After about 10 – 15 take off heat and set aside. I finish off their cooking in the stock.
  • In the meantime, put a small saucepan on heat No 2. Pour in the water, add the ½ – 1 stock cube with the bay leaf and allow to dissolve. I use the same pan that have partially cooked the florets (adding them to a bowl) as I don’t want to lose all of that flavour left on its base. To use up the stalk of the broccoli: trim it well, slice in either halves or halves again and add them to the stock. Better to have that extra flavour and nutrients rather than chucking it in the bin. When stock has reduced simply pick out the stalk pieces and discard.
  • Sprinkle over the cayenne pepper and add the tuna when the onions have cooked. Up the heat again to No 2 and allow the tuna to catch slightly. When nicely cooked sprinkle over the oregano and take off heat if the stock isn’t ready.
  • Pour the stock into the pan with the tuna mixture, and increase the heat to about No 4 to help reduce the sauce. Halfway through add the broccoli and stir through occasionally. Reduce the heat when you have the right consistency, and cover with a lid to keep warm.
  • Put on a large saucepan with plenty of cold water for the pasta on heat No 4, with a pinch of salt. When boiling add the pasta and bring back to simmering point. I normally cover mine with a lid and reduce the heat to No 1. Cook until al dente.
  • Serve hot with lots of freshly snipped parsley, the pumpkin seeds and a slice of lime.

All photographs within (Todas las fotografías dentro de) Feed the Piglet:
All rights reserved (© Todos los derechos reservados) – Copyright © Johnny H Hepburn


    • Possibly several of the pork recipes I have on here. Although, those portions are only for 2. At the moment I do have a freezer – that isn’t switched on! If I find anything on WordPress I’ll send you links.
      Do you know how to cook fadge? Mine turned out as I remember them growing up. Not sure if they need anything else. And, not sure if emails were sent out for that post when I published. Having hiccups with WordPress atm.


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