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!
- 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
- 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!