Monday, August 8, 2011

Summery (and Too Easy!) Tuna Pasta Salad

We love hearing from readers when they've tried a recipe.  Lynn loved Peggy Ehrhart's Mango Tango Pie.  She said~ 'It looked good enough to eat immediately after being assembled and we could
Lynn's Pie!
hardly wait for it to chill in the fridge before slicing it after dinner the first night.

Man, was it good!  After scarfing up every last crumb on his plate, David said, and I quote " I think this is the best pie I've ever eaten in my life!"  High praise, indeed! (His mom was a terrific pie maker and great all-around country cook)'


Wow!  How's that for an endorsement?



And if you're looking for a tuna salad to eat before the Mango Tango Pie, I have a very easy one for you today.

One of the first ingredients, besides chocolate, that I remember playing with was tuna fish.  I have vivid memories of making tuna fish sandwiches with my brother and discovering the key to a spectacular tuna sandwich -- lemon juice.

This is a salad that I make a lot.  It's very versatile, so don't be afraid to add more of an ingredient or to omit one altogether.  In the interest of getting away from using so much mayonnaise (a must for a great tuna sandwich), I have used an olive oil and lemon mixture.  If you're one of those people who simply must have mayo, it works very well with that, too.

In a weird moment, I once added chunks of pineapple, and while that seems odd to me, I have to admit that if I have a pineapple on hand, I still cut a slice or two into bite-sized chunks and add it to the salad.  It's a nice sweet surprise.

Fun pasta shapes work best here.  I used fusilli, but I also like little shells that catch the other ingredients.

Tuna Pasta Salad

8 ounces dried pasta
1 can tuna (if you love tuna, use 2 cans)
1/2 onion
1 10-ounce bag frozen peas
1/2 cup red, yellow, and/or orange peppers
1/4 cup olive oil
1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package.  Place in a large bowl, add the tuna with the liquid and break up.  Add the frozen peas. (You don't even have to cook them! The heat from the pasta will thaw them.) Chop the onion and the peppers and add.  Mix.

Use a fork or mini-whisk to blend the juice of 1/2 to 3/4 of the lemon with olive oil.  Add salt and pepper.  Pour over the salad and toss.  Adjust salt, pepper, and lemon juice as needed.



 

15 comments:

  1. SIlly question... Better as left overs for a cold pasta lunch? Or do you serve this a a side dish (or vegetarian main course).

    My wife would prefer a a mayo based sauce with tuna (I've tried to change her mind). But I sure think this would be a great lunch out of the fridge for me while she works her inconvenient day job.

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  2. This is looking like lunch today, Krista! Thanks for sharing....I have all the ingredients and I love recipes like this. :)

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  3. I eat it warm when it's just made, but there are always leftovers, so then it becomes, exactly as you said, Dave, a lunch out of the fridge. And if your wife loves mayo, just put her portion in a bowl and add a little mayo!

    ~ Krista

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  4. Elizabeth, it makes a nice busy day lunch or dinner. I bet your son will inhale it! ; )

    ~ Krista

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  5. Pretty and easy. I love that. It will be a good change from the tuna sandwiches that I am addicted to. Thanks, Krista.

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  6. It's pretty and easy: gotta love that, Krista. It will make an excellent and healthy change from my tuna sandwich addiction.

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  7. Easy and delightful. Love a simple recipe like this. Thanks, Krista. With family coming in for the next two weeks, this is a good idea.
    With GF pasta for us, of course. LOL

    ~Avery

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  8. Mary Jane, I have the same addiction. I try to make them healthy by adding lots of lettuce and whole grain muffins, but . . . ; )

    ~ Krista

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  9. Avery, it's mild enough for kids and interesting enough for adults. And it's one of those dishes that is great for midnight noshing, too.

    ~ Krista

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  10. Thank you for sharing today - I am so incredibly busy today and in a bit of a snit trying to think what to prepare for dinner on top of everything else and this will do the job just great :)

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  11. Delighted that I can help, Denise!

    ~ Krista

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  12. Krista, we're on the same wavelength with pasta & tuna salad--just what I've been craving on another scorching day. Funny you mentioned pineapple, as I often add it(along with almonds or pecans)to chicken salad, but never thought of it with tuna. Bet it's terrific! Thanks for the idea.

    BTW, I made a second Mango-Tango Pie using blueberries and mangoes and it was very tasty-- tho' the blueberries were not as wonderfully ripe and sweet as the strawberries used in the first pie. Guess I got lucky on that first try! Will definitely be making Peggy's Pie again soon, with either strawberries or raspberries. The recipe's a keeper in our house!

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  13. Tuna fish is a wonderful, wonderful thing!!! It is one of this things that I need to use Miracle Whip in...I look forward to trying the lemon juice olive oil combo!! I love to add celery, dill weed, chopped tomato...hey, maybe some red pepper!

    Thanks for giving me yet another twist on pasta salad which is a mainstay here at Chez Phillipe!!

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  14. K - Tuna and pasta is something Marc and I grew up on (unfortunately, our mothers put tomato sauce on the combo)! Neither of us wants to relive that. BUT...the idea of lemon and olive oil is pure genius and a much better alternative to mayo (or tomato sauce). Looking forward to trying it. Thanks, Krista!

    ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

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  15. That pie looks amazing! Yummy!

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