I think most of us would say that we eat canned tuna at least about a couple times a week. Tuna in a can is both satisfying to the palate and cash friendly to our wallets, reason why I like to try to invent recipes that incorporate this ingredient. This pasta salad is a bit creamy without being over the top and is made with crunchy veggies and whole grain pasta. I feel that whole grain pasta has not had a real chance in the food spotlight. It is both nutritious and delicious and when put in a cold salad like this you get a chance to taste the nuttiness of the pasta as well. Double up this recipe and pack it for lunch the next day!

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • Whole Grain Penne Rigate (preferably with lines) - I use little over half of a 375 g package for this recipe.
  • 1 can flaked tuna in water, drained
  • coarse salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • juice of half a lemon
  • half a medium sized onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp each of: Dijon mustard and sweet relish
  • 1/4 cup light mayo
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp each of: vegetable blend seasoning and granulated sugar
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1 corn on the cob (measures about 3/4 cup of corn)
  • 1 cup cucumbers, sliced into quarters
  • handful of chopped fresh parsley
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, sliced chiffonade style

1. Put on a medium sized pot of boiling water. Salt the water and add in the whole grain pasta. Cook until a bit chewy in texture. In the last minute of cooking put in the corn on the cob so it can cook in the same pot as the pasta. Drain the pasta and the corn and rinse it under cold water. You want the pasta to be cold when you mix it into the dressing.

2. In a large mixing bowl, add and whisk in the juice of half a lemon, light mayo, dijon mustard, sweet relish, olive oil, vegetable blend seasoning, and the granulated sugar. This would be a good time to add in the chopped onion into the dressing. The onion will lose some of it's strong bite if you put it into the dressing ahead of time. Put the bowl into the fridge while you chop up the rest of the vegetables and the herbs. Take a serrated knife and take the cooked and cooled corn off of the cob and leave it aside with the other vegetables.

3. Take the bowl out of the fridge and add in the canned tuna (drained), and the chopped vegetables. Pour in the cooled down pasta and throw in the herbs. Mix it altogether slowly and taste it for seasoning. I like to squeeze in more lemon juice sometimes to brighten up the salad further. Put the bowl back into the fridge for about an hour and serve.

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