Piquant pasta and tuna salad

    25 min

    The dressing for this simple, colourful salad has a sweet-sour flavour, which perfectly complements the lightly cooked courgette, tuna, tomatoes and al dente pasta. Serve the salad cool, but not chilled, or try it while it is still warm. Mini pitta bread is good served alongside, to mop up the dressing.

    8 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 250g (9 oz) fusilli pasta
    • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 1 garlic clove, chopped
    • 2 courgettes, thinly sliced
    • 2 tsp caster sugar
    • 2 tbsp red pesto sauce
    • 1 tbsp white or red wine vinegar
    • 2 tbsp capers
    • 6 tomatoes, skinned, halved and cut into thin wedges
    • 1 can tuna in brine, about 200g, drained and roughly flaked
    • 6 black olives, stoned and halved
    • fresh flat-leaf parsley to garnish (optional)

    Prep:25min  ›  Ready in:25min 

    1. Cook the pasta in boiling water for 10–12 minutes, or according to the packet instructions, until al dente. Drain well, rinse with cold water and drain again very thoroughly.
    2. While the pasta is cooking, heat half the oil in a saucepan. Add the onion and garlic, and fry for 3 minutes, stirring often. Add the remaining oil and the courgettes and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes.
    3. Add the sugar, red pesto, vinegar and capers to the onion and courgettes. Heat for a few seconds, stirring until the ingredients have combined to form a dressing. Stir in the tomatoes, then transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and set aside to cool.
    4. Add the drained pasta to the bowl, then gently mix in the tuna fish and black olives. Divide among 4 plates or transfer to a large serving bowl. Serve garnished with some flat-leaf parsley leaves, if liked.

    Some more ideas

    To increase the fibre content and make a more substantial meal, add 1 can borlotti beans, about 400 g, drained, with the pasta. Omit the tuna for a vegetarian dish. * Canned anchovies can be used instead of tuna. Use the oil from 1 can, about 50 g, to cook the ingredients in step 1. * Use 225 g (8 oz) small patty pan squash instead of courgettes. Trim their tops and bases, then slice them in half.

    Plus points

    Using tuna canned in water or brine, rather than in oil, keeps the fat content of the dish low. * Tomatoes and courgettes together ensure that this simple salad provides an excellent supply of vitamin C.

    Each serving provides

    Excellent source of selenium, vitamin C. Good source of vitamin A. Useful source of copper, folate, niacin, potassium, vitamin B1, vitamin E.

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