This is a great recipe for a five o’clock in the middle of the week. You look in the fridge and draw a blank. Time to raid your store cupboard and rustle something out of nothing!

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves: 4-6



500g pasta

1 tin of tuna in sunflower oil

1 tin of anchovies in oil

1 large onion

2 garlic cloves

200g mushrooms

100g mixed peppers

1 jar of olives (black or green or a mix)

100g breadcrumbs

1 carton of passata

1 tsp oregano

A handful of fresh basil (or frozen)

Parmesan cheese (block or ready-grated)

Salt and pepper to taste

A splash of balsamic vinegar



Step 1:

Boil your kettle and fill a large pot with your pasta and a nice bit of salt. This is quite a salty recipe, I know, but pasta needs it. Any shaped pasta is fine but I like farfalle, the little bows!

Step 2:

Heat a large frying pan with olive oil on a medium heat. Chop your onion and crush your garlic with a crusher (if you don’t have a crusher you can chop or grate it). Lightly fry the onions and garlic.

Step 3:

Chop your mushrooms (I do mine in half as one child hates them and the rest of us love them, so he can pick his out!) Add them in and your mixed peppers as well. Tip: I always have a bag of frozen peppers in the freezer, so handy.

Step 4:

Boldly take the plunge and put those anchovies in. They are very strong I know, but put them all in there, oil and everything. It won’t taste super fishy but will have a lovely, deep salty flavour. Trust me!

Step 4:

Tuna next; drain the tin and put it in along with the olives. It’s gonna be smelling pretty good right about now.

Step 5:

Don’t forget your pasta! Check it – you don’t want it soggy and over-cooked.

Step 6:

In goes the passata. Give everything a nice big stir. If it looks a little dry, pour in a splash of water. Turn the heat down low and allow it to simmer.

Step 7:

Time for the oregano. I add a teaspoon but preference tasting at every stage is important. My taste buds are different to yours. Season with salt and pepper, again as required. Chop up some fresh basil if you have it (supermarkets sell frozen chopped herbs now too. It’s a good idea to get a few boxes. They’re great value!). The little splash of balsamic at this point will really balance the sweetness from all of the tomatoes

Step 8:

Drain your pasta. Keep it in the big pot. Now is the time for the breadcrumbs. A big handful goes in to the pasta. Pour your sauce in and mix it all up so every bit of pasta is covered. Now is the time to grate a shedload of parmesan in! Add some more basil.

Step 9:

Split into big bowls. More parmesan on top please! And wolf it all down…