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Photo credit: Rebecca Anne, "Flora's Cup" | Creative Commons License,

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Jamie Oliver's Jools' Favorite Saturday Afternoon Pasta

Compiled by Vicki McClure Davidson


Frugal Celebrities' Recipes

Jamie Oliver, the energetic, oft-times British darling of the Food Network, cooked for three years at a young age at the critically acclaimed River Café in London. Jamie has been cooking most of his life and has a refreshing, different approach to cooking.

He has been the irreverent host of many TV cooking shows, including The Naked Chef and Oliver's Twist. His approach to cooking is usually unorthodox and imprecise, much to the ire of a number of professional chefs.

However, his popularity in the UK and US with TV viewers and cookbook purchases is undeniable. He's won four awards for his TV shows and has a number of best-selling cookbooks. Jamie is now the food editor for the British GQ magazine and has a regular column with the Saturday Times Magazine. He's active in charity work, "Jamie's School Dinners," to increase nutritional awareness in England's working-class schools. He was awarded the MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2003 Queen's Birthday Honours List for his services to the Hospitality Industry.

Oliver, wife Juliette (he calls her Jools), and their children live in Essex, England.



Quote from Jamie's interview about this pasta recipe dedicated to his wife:

Irreverent cook Jamie Oliver
Irreverent cook Jamie Oliver

"This is Jools' favorite quick Saturday afternoon pasta," Jamie says. "Every time I make it, even though it only uses a tiny fraction of my brain and takes a few minutes in the pan, she seems to be really impressed with it, so on that basis, I decided to put it in this book. If you're going to make this, treat yourself and buy some good-quality tuna—it really makes all the difference," he says. "And if you can find any fennel tops, they're great stirred in with the tomatoes."


Jamie Oliver's Jools' Favorite Saturday Afternoon Pasta Recipe


Heat a splash of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan and cook the onion, chili, cinnamon, and basil stalks on a medium to low heat for 5 minutes until onion has softened and is slightly sweet. Turn up the heat and add your tomatoes, tuna, and a good pinch of salt. Break the tomatoes up using the back of a spoon, then bring to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes. Taste for seasoning.

Meanwhile, cook the rigatoni in a pan of salted boiling water according to the pack instructions. When al dente, drain the pasta in a colander, reserving some of the cooking water.

Toss the pasta into the tuna and tomato sauce with the roughly torn basil leaves, a glug of olive oil, the lemon zest and juice, and Parmesan, and mix together well. Loosen the pasta with a little of the reserved cooking water if needed. Check the seasoning and serve immediately.

Serves 4.

Watch Jamie Oliver's video on how to easily make fish and chips at home.



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<< Back to Directory of Collection of Celebrities' Frugal Recipes


Internet Movie Database, "Jamie Oliver" ( website, (, recipe originally published in Cook with Jamie, Hyperion Press, Inc., NY, NY, 2006 (