My tuna pasta salad features peas & rocket (arugula), then it gets dressed in a lemon vinaigrette all finished off with a bit of fresh chilli.
Tuna Salad with Peas & Chilli.
I love a good pasta salad, they are easy to cook, light to eat and infinitely versatile.
Unlike my BLT pasta salad this little tuna number does not use mayonnaise. That’s right a tuna pasta salad with NO mayonnaise.
I choose a lighter but no less flavoured lemon dressing instead.
The dressing gets some chopped anchovies, a controversial ingredient that you can omit if you wish.
The dish is light and full of vibrant sharp flavours and gets a good hit of fresh chilli right at the end.
I adore this tuna pasta salad, I use farfalle pasta but it works well with any pasta with a large surface area.
It is particularly good with the fusilli pasta that I use in this smoked mackerel pasta.
Tuna can be a controversial ingredient and I am not here to offer you ethical advice. I’m here to tell you how to make my tuna pasta salad!
We are all grown ups and capable of making our own decisions, there is much written about tuna and I will not add to that discussion.
You should look for tuna in water for this recipe rather than oil.
Tuna in oil can be used if you wish but it does give the whole dish a mouthfeel that is a bit “rich”. I find that too much of a contrast with the sharp flavours.
Fres or frozen peas can be used in this recipe but please do not skip the step where I suggest you chill them after cooking.
This ensures that the peas stay both sweet and the most beautiful colour!
Finally, the chilli, if you are not a fan feel free to omit it, but be minded not to go too hot if you do add it!
I recommend removing the seeds, this is not to cool down the chilli but to create a better eating experience.
This tuna pasta salad recipe is great to take on a picnic or to drop into a lunch box. But there are a couple of things to note if you are planning to make this in advance.
First of all, adding the dressing to the pasta when hot is essential to get the best out this recipe.
It is the same technique I use in this halloumi orzo salad recipe. It is a great way to make sure you make the most of the flavours you are adding.
Secondly, you really do need to allow the pasta to cool completely if you are planning to make this in advance.
This is because the heat will cause the rocket to wilt and the peas to continue cooking.
That means grey peas and soggy rocket, tasty but not the most pleasing eating experiences.
One final note for my American readers, *waves at you* *not you, you*, rocket is known as arugula in the states.
A tuna pasta salad is a well trodden path, my version does not use mayonnaise but a vibrant lemon vinaigrette and sweet garden peas. A perfect picnic or BBQ side dish and super quick too!
- 150 g (1.5 Cups) Short Pasta
- 150 g (1 cup) Frozen Peas
- 160 g (5.6 oz) Can of Tuna
- 30 g (3 Tbsp) Capers
- 30 g (1.5 Cups) Rocket or Arugula
- 1 Medium Hot Red Chilli Pepper
For the Dressing
- 1 Lemon
- 75 ml (1/4 Cup + 1 Tbsp) Olive Oil
- 1.5 Tbsp Lemon Juice
- 2 Anchovy Fillets
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil.
- Drop in the pasta and cook for a minute less than the packet instructions.
- Chop the anchovies as finely as you can.
- Place all of the ingredients for the dressing into a jar and shake.
- Taste the dressing and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove the seeds from the chilli and dice as finely as you can.
- 90 seconds before you remove the pasta place the peas in a sieve and allow them to cook in the pasta water.
- Drain the pasta and place it into a large wide bowl and dress with the dressing stirring well.
- Cool the peas under cold running water, this helps keep the colour.
- Allow the pasta to cool for at least 10 minutes.
- Add in the capers, chillies, peas, rocket and canned tuna then mix well.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 617Total Fat: 38gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 31gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 1009mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 7gSugar: 6gProtein: 30g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.