Friday, December 25, 2009

[Project Lunch] Tuna Pasta Salad

The beauty of pasta salads is that they can be made ahead of time and pulled out later to be enjoyed, which makes it the ideal dish to bring into work. Since I had a bunch of leftover ingredients waiting in my fridge to be used, the timing was perfect to make one of these for Project Lunch. The ingredients are relatively inter-changeable, but I always like adding celery, since it gives the pasta salad another texture dimension: crunch.

[Project Lunch] Tuna Pasta Salad

Tuna Pasta Salad
* 1 lb pasta shells, medium
* 2 cans (5 oz) solid albacore tuna, drained & flaked
* 4 oz black olives, sliced
* 1 1/2 onions, medium, cubed
* 8 oz grape tomatoes, halved
* 3 ribs (1 cup) celery, cubed
* 3/4 cup mayonnaise
* chives, chopped
* kosher salt + pepper
* oregano
* olive oil

01. Bring large, heavy-bottom pan of water to a boil.
02. Add pasta and return to a boil; cook for 8-10 minutes until al dente.
03. In a separate bowl, combine mayonnaise and flaked tuna, until properly coated. Add olive oil as necessary to thin the mayonnaise down.
04. Add celery, onions and olives to tuna mixture. Add mayonnaise and olive oil as needed.
05. Add s+p, oregano to taste.
06. Add pasta into the mixture and toss until all ingredients are evenly incorporated.
07. Add chopped chives and cherry tomatoes; toss ingredients again.

Price Check
$ 0.89, Pasta (@ 0.89 for 1 lb)
$ 1.30, Albacore Solid Tuna (@ 0.65 for 5 oz)
$ 1.00, Onions
$ 0.30, Celery (@ 2.27 for 32 oz)
$ 0.55, Black Olives (@ 1.10 for 6 oz)
$ 1.25, Cherry Tomatoes (@ 4.98 for 32 oz)
$ 0.50, Mayonaise
$ 1.33, Chives (@ 1.99 for 10 oz)

Total: $ 7.12

Tips & Tricks:
* If the pasta salad is dry, just add a 1 tbsp water to revive the salad.
* Any pasta shapes (e.g., spirals, penne) will substitute well for this salad.
* Left-over rotisserie chicken is a good substitute for tuna.
* Half the cherry tomatoes & pre-chop the chives, but pack them separately. Add to the pasta salad right before serving.

Verdict & Lesson's Learned:

:) Both boys liked it and it makes it a perfect dish to tag along to work.

:( One boy could pass on the celery, since he isn't a fan of celery-tasting things. Maybe carrots could be a celery substitute and still add the crunchy dimension.

:) I like how fast this dish is to make and how portable this lunch project was.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails