Penne with Fresh Tuna and Cherry Tomatoes
In this Southern Italian–inspired one-pot pasta, a thick tuna steak cooks to moist perfection at the same time as the penne, cherry tomatoes, and olives. When the cooking is done, break up the tuna into large flakes with a spoon and mix it into the pasta. The sauce will look thin at first glance, but it thickens into a beautiful, clingy sauce upon standing.
Servings Prep Time
4servings 5minutes
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
4servings 5minutes
Cook Time
  • 12ounces penne pastadry and uncooked
  • 2cups cherry tomatoeshalved
  • 1small sweet onionhalved lengthwise and thinly sliced through the root end (about 1 cup)
  • 1/3cup oil-cured olivespitted and halved
  • 3tablespoons olive oil
  • 4cloves garlicthinly sliced
  • 1/4teaspoon red chile flakes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1inches tuna steakabout 1.5 inches thick, 8 ounce
  • 1/2cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 1/2teaspoons lemon zestfinely grated
  • 2tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  1. Combine the pasta, cherry tomatoes, onion, olives, oil, garlic, red chile flakes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and several grinds of black pepper in the pot. Add 2 3/4 cups water and stir to combine. Place the tuna on top of the pasta mixture but do not submerge it.
  2. Lock on the lid, select the Pressure Cook function, and adjust to Low pressure for 6 minutes. Make sure the steam valve is in the “Sealing” position and that the “Keep Warm” button is off.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, stack the basil leaves, roll them up tightly as you would a sleeping bag, and slice crosswise into thin ribbons.
  4. When the cooking time is up, quick-release the pressure. Remove the lid. Add the basil, lemon zest, and lemon juice to the pot and stir, breaking up the fish into bite-size chunks. Season with salt and black pepper.
  5. Let the pasta stand in the pot set in the appliance, uncovered, for 5 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken before serving.
Recipe Notes

The following recipes are excerpted from INSTANT POT® ITALIAN © 2018 by Ivy Manning. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.