Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Dani Wednesdays: Tuna Pasta Salad with Tomatoes

Hello! I am back for another episode of Wednesday with Dani. It was the hottest day so far, yesterday. I needed to turn on my airco and come up with a meal fast that was light, tasty and used the tuna I had in my cupboard. My son is going through a phase where all he wants to eat is pasta, so I have another pasta recipe. 4 year-olds are delightful, but they can be very picky eaters as they try to assert their independence. This recipe is great for a family dinner, lunch the next day or a party. The bright colors are eye catching, making everyone want to try it; the simple, yet fresh flavors make them come for seconds. J

Tuna Pasta Salad with Tomatoes
Serves 4 – Prep time: 15-20 mins

• 1 small can of tuna packed in water (I used albacore)
• ½ cup sliced green onions
• 2 cups green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
• 12 oz grape, cherry or sweet 100 tomatoes (whole or halved)
• 6 oz pasta (use twisty or penne like kind)
• ½ cup red wine vinegar
• 2 cloves fresh garlic (pressed or minced)
• 1 tbsp dijon mustard
• ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tbsp fresh dill (2 tsp, if dried)
• 1 tsp pepper
• ½ tsp sea salt

1. Make vinaigrette by combining the vinegar, mustard, oil and spices in a shakable container with lid. Shake to combine and set aside to let flavors intensify while you make rest of salad.
2. Bring about 5 quarts of water to a boil. Be sure to add enough salt, so your water tastes like the sea, as Anne Burrell would say. (You probably remembered that from a weeks ago. J)
3. Add green beans and cook until they start to pop and brighten in color. About 4 mins, but taste one to make sure they are to your likeness. (I like mine on the crunchy side) Drain and place in ice bath to prevent over cooking.
4. Prepare pasta according to package directions. (I cook pasta to the short end of the time range provided by box)
5. Once pasta is ready, drain and cool under cold water. If you are making this recipe ahead of time, you can skip the rinsing and half the dressing and toss. This will make a more flavorful pasta and the dressing will keep pasta from sticking together. (I do not usually plan ahead, hence the cooling in water)
6. Drain tuna and add chunks to pasta along with beans and onions. Toss gently to keep tuna in largish chunks. Add enough vinaigrette, so everything is covered but not sitting in dressing.
7. Top with tomatoes. If making for a party, feel free to add halved tomatoes with rest of ingredients. Since I make this for dinner, I put whole tomatoes on last because I did not want them to make my salad too liquidy when in fridge overnight.

Hope you enjoy this meal as much as my family and I did. Cheers!