Friday, 20 January 2012

Becca's Tuna Pasta Salad

It's funny how the simplest recipes often end up the favourites in our household.  I cannot remember whether I first created this salad before or after we were married, but it was definitely a 90's creation borne of necessity.

We were living in our first home in Scarborough and I was craving a salad, but one with substance.  It was a weekend afternoon, and given that I tend to clean on Saturdays, it would have to have been a Sunday afternoon.  Anyways, I tossed everything I had in this salad - pasta, lettuce, carrots, celery, tuna, corn niblets, chickpeas and any other leftover veggies that would have been sitting in the fridge (I hate to waste!!!).  Top it off with a little grated or cubed cheddar cheese, some oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and the Tuna Pasta Salad was born!

Fast forward to 2001 and I was struggling to shed the baby weight after Rebecca was born.  The biggest obstacles for me were my love of food and the fact that I was nursing.  Carlo would happily tell you that "(I) can eat!"...and I can!  But, I discovered I could eat tons of this salad, feel full and still lose weight!  I think that this may be the reason that Becca adores the salad...she ate it vicariously through me throughout her infancy.  Anyways, I still make it - often - and apparently I serve it to many people who join us for weekend lunches...and now, everyone has assumed ownership of this salad!  My 3-year-old niece calls it Abby Salad, we call it Becca's Tuna Pasta Salad and, last week my Uncle Jim asked for the recipe - turns out it is his favourite pasta salad!! 

This really is a shitarein (Yiddish for "throw it in") recipe, because I use up whatever I have in the fridge - tossing in leftovers.  Here is a general recipe for the salad, which you can tailor to fit your family's taste.

Until next time, I wish you a wonderful day filled with family, fun, friends and fantasic food!  B'Tayavon & Buon Appetito!

Naomi's Becca's Tuna Pasta Salad

  • lettuce cut into bite-size pieces (I prefer iceberg, but romaine or mescalin work just as well)
  • cooked pasta (any smaller shape will work, I use up whatever odds and sods I have lying around
  • corn niblets
  • sliced black olives
  • chickpeas
  • carrot (chopped, sliced or diced)
  • celery (chopped, sliced or diced)
  • cucumber (chopped, sliced or diced)
  • cherry or grape tomatoes
  • tuna, drained (flaked works best)
  • grated or cubed cheddar (we are fans of marble or medium)
  • oil, vinegar, salt & pepper - to taste


Combine all ingredients, toss and enjoy!