Beautiful Broccoli with Creamy Tuna Sauce
For years and years this tuna sauce was my favourite-go to for a quick weeknight pasta. ‘
And then I stopped eating pasta.
Which meant I forgot about the sauce.
A few weeks ago I was thinking about ways to use capers. And I remembered the sauce.
And I remembered my new philosophy of using veggies like cabbage, cauliflower or broccoli as an alternative to pasta.
I can’t tell you how much I love this dish.
And you know the best part?
The broccoli only takes a fraction of the time you’d normally spend boiling your pasta.
- 1 medium can tuna 200g / 7oz
- 1 tablespoon capers rinsed if in salt
- 3-4 tablespoons cream
- 1 head broccoli
- 1 small bunch parsley or chives chopped (optional)
- squeeze lemon
Bring about 1cm (1/2 in) salted water to the boil in a medium saucepan. Meanwhile, chop your broccoli into bite sized little trees and slice the stems. When the water is boiling add the broccoli to the pot and cover. Simmer for 4 minutes or until the broccoli is no longer crunchy, drain.
Return the pot to a medium heat. Add tuna and the oil from the can. Or if your tuna comes in water or brine drain it first and add a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to the pan. Add the capers and cook for a minute, stirring to break up the tuna. When the tuna is hot add the cream and bring to a simmer.
Add the drained broccoli and stir to coat in the sauce. Remove from the heat and stir through parsley or chives (if using). Serve with lemon squeezed over as you like.
WINE MATCH: A crisp dry Riesling or Sauvignon blanc.
Variations & Substitutions
short on time – use a pack of frozen broccoli.
vegetarian – replace tuna with 2-3 eggs. Just mix eggs and capers and cream then add to the pan with the drained cooked broccoli – cook over a low heat, stirring until the eggs are almost set and no longer runny. No need for lemon.
vegan – replace tuna with a generous handful of roasted sunflower seeds. Skip the cream and serve the steamed broccoli, capers and seeds in a big bowl topped with lashings of hummus or this cashew sauce.
dairy-free – replace with extra virgin olive oil or serve tuna, capers and broccoli in a big bowl topped with lashings of hummus or this cashew sauce.
more substantial (carb lovers) – cooked pasta!
more substantial (low carb) – extra tuna, extra broccoli, extra cream, extra everything! roast nuts / seeds (sunflower seeds or macadamias are especially good) or serve with chunks of avocado.
Low FODMAP – compost the broccoli stems or feed to your chickens!
no capers / different flavours – just skip them or replace with a few anchovy fillets or some chopped black olives. Or a finely chopped clove of garlic.
different fish – also lovely with canned mackeral, salmon, sardines or any smoked fish like trout or hot smoked salmon.
Waste Avoidance Strategy
tuna / capers – keep them in the pantry.
cream – unopened cartons will generally keep in the fridge for a few weeks. If you need to store for longer, just pop in the freezer in a sealed container. Or freeze in icecube trays so you can easily defrost just what you need.
broccoli – will keep wrapped in a plastic bag in the fridge for about 2 weeks or sometimes a little longer. Can be frozen (if you have time chop before freezing so it will defrost quickly in the pan).
parsley or chives – will keep in the fridge wrapped in a plastic bag for a few weeks.
lemon – whole lemon will keep wrapped in a plastic bag in the fridge for months.