Let’s Eat: Dine al fresco this week under sunny skies

Let’s Eat: Dine al fresco this week under sunny skies

Yellowfin Tuna and Artichoke Pasta 

By Heidi Sutton

The sun is shining and the weather is finally warm — a perfect week to kick off al fresco dining season. 

Inspired by the Mediterranean tradition of “eating in the open air,” al fresco meals typically take advantage of in-season produce. They offer easy preparation, so you can focus on entertaining, and they are simple enough to eat outdoors. Skip complicated cooking steps and turn to a delicious option like Yellowfin Tuna and Artichoke Pasta, which can be served as an appetizer, side dish, or on its own as a light main course. 

Yellowfin Tuna and Artichoke Pasta 

Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray

YIELD: Serves 4



Cold water

12 small, fresh artichokes or 2 cans artichoke hearts in water

2 lemons

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

salt, to taste 

pepper or red pepper, to taste



2 cans (5 ounces each) Genova Yellowfin Tuna in Olive Oil

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 tablespoons butter, cut into tabs

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)

salt, to taste

1/2 cup white wine, chicken stock or vegetable stock

1 pound spaghetti or linguine

1 lemon, juice only

1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese

1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided 

1 small handful fresh mint, chopped, divided 

1/4 cup toasted pistachios or pine nuts, chopped 


To make artichokes: Preheat oven to 425 F. Fill bowl with cold water and juice of one lemon. If using fresh artichokes, trim tops of artichokes and tougher outer leaves. Using vegetable peeler or small paring knife, trim stems. Once prepped, cut fresh artichokes in half. If using canned artichokes, drain well and quarter lengthwise. 

Place artichokes in lemon water. Let soak 2-3 minutes, drain and pat dry with kitchen towel. In casserole or baking dish, arrange artichokes and add juice of remaining lemon, quarter lemon and add lemon wedges to dish. Add olive oil and salt and pepper, to taste. Roast 25-30 minutes, or until tender. 

To make pasta: Bring large pot of water to boil. While water is coming to boil, place large skillet over medium heat and add olive oil and butter. Add garlic; red pepper, if desired; and salt, to taste, and swirl 1 minute. Add white wine or stock and let reduce by half. When water comes to boil, salt water, add pasta and cook 1 minute less than directions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water before draining. 

Add artichokes to large skillet with tuna with its oil and gently break up with back of wooden spoon or paddle. Add lemon juice and reserved pasta water to skillet along with drained pasta, cheese and half the parsley, mint and pistachios. Toss to combine, top with remaining parsley, mint and pistachios and serve.