A delicious dinner and perfect for a busy weeknight. I make a lot of these main course salads during the week. It's a lighter way to serve pasta and it stretches the pasta so it makes dinner for two nights, which means less cooking during a hectic week. Also, it's a great way to use up those abundant garden tomatoes.
A quick word about tuna.... I use canned tuna here. If you also opt for the canned version, do look for line caught American Tuna. That ensures that dolphins and other sea mammals were not harmed in the tuna nets. Also, the fact that the fish is line caught means it's smaller, therefore containing less mercury. You could, of course, quickly sear a couple of fresh Albacore Tuna filets here instead and just break them into bite size pieces.
Pasta Salad with Arugula, Tuna, Tomatoes, & Olives:
Yields 4 generous servings:
5 cups baby Arugula
12 oz medium spiral shaped g-free pasta (Fusilli, Cavatappi, Gemelli)
2, 3.5 oz cans Albacore Tuna, packed in water (look for line caught, American Tuna)
1/2 cup nicoise olives, pitted and halved
6 medium slicing tomatoes, cut into wedges
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Ricotta Salata, grated (or Pecorino or Parmesan)
juice of 1 lemon
1 TB white wine vinegar
1 TB dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
1) Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add about 1TB salt and return to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 8-10 minutes depending on the size and shape.
2) Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, salt & pepper. Add the olive oil in a steady stream, whisking the whole time, until emulsified. Set aside.
3) Place the baby arugula in your serving bowl. Add the hot pasta on top of the arugula and toss together to wilt the greens slightly. Drizzle with about 1/2 of the dressing and set aside to cool. When ready to serve, toss in the olives, basil, tuna, and tomatoes. Pour over the remaining dressing and toss to coat. Sprinkle with the grated cheese and season with salt & pepper to taste. Serve chilled or at room temperature.