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Tuyo with Pasta

Tuyo with Pasta consists of spaghetti mixed with Filipino bottled tuyo (salty herring in oil) which are sold in Asian markets or online sources here in America. Tuyo in the Philippines are herrings, tiny fish salted and sun-dried for preservation. In recent years, enterprising Filipinos found a way to preserve what is referred to as "the poor man's fish" in the Philippines by cooking and bottling them in oil with spices and seasonings. I often have a few jars in my pantry for emergency days or quick meals. One of my favorite ways with bottled tuyo is transforming it into a pasta meal like this one. This is an Asian in America recipe by Elizabeth Ann Quirino. Serves 2 to 4.
Cook Time18 mins
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Asian, Filipino
Keyword: Tuyo with Pasta
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 14kcal
Author: Asian in America - Elizabeth Ann Quirino


  • large skillet or wok


  • 16 ounces (1 pound) spaghetti pasta, cooked according to directions, reserve 1/2 cup pasta water
  • ½ cup freshly-grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons extra vigin olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
  • 1 whole medium-sized white or yellow onion, sliced
  • 220 gm. (1 bottle) bottled Filipino tuyo (dried herring in olive oil), flaked, reserve 2 Tablespoons of the oil from the bottle
  • 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in halves, or 2 cups chopped large tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons white wine
  • 1/2 cup pasta water
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • ¼ cup pitted green Spanish olives, drained
  • 1 Tablespoon capers
  • 1 pinch salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 whole lemon, for sprinkling juice before serving

For serving:

  • 4 to 6 slices garlic bread


To cook and prepare Pasta:

  • Cook the spaghetti pasta noodles in boiling water according to package directions. After about 11 minutes, when the pasta is al dente, drain the liquid, but reserve 1/2 cup of the water for the saute.
    Run the pasta through warm running water to prevent from sticking. Shake the water off by placing pasta in a colander.
    Arrange the pasta in a large bowl. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese all over the pasta and mix well till it coats most of the noodles. Cover to keep warm. Set aside.

To cook the Tuyo with Pasta:

  • In a large skillet or wok, over medium-high heat, add the oil. After 1 to 2 minutes, when oil is hot enough, saute the minced garlic and onions till translucent.
    Add the flaked tuyo, plus 2 tablespoons of the bottled oil, tomatoes, spinach, olives and capers.
    Pour the wine and pasta water. Cook for 2 minutes for flavors to blend. Do not cook longer than this time or spinach will wilt and disintegrate.
    Add the cooked pasta to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Blend ingredients together till they coat the noodles. Sprinkle the juice of a lemon all over the pasta just before serving.
    Serve warm with garlic bread.

Cook's comments:

  • If bottled Filipino tuyo is not available, use canned sardines in olive oil for this recipe, in about the same amount (220 g. of tuyo). Feel free to use other types of pasta preferred.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 14kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 134mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g