Tuna pasta salad is a retro summertime staple

There’s a scene within the 1997 film, “As Good As it Gets,” when Jack Nicholson challenges the notion that all of us have a tragic story to inform. “That’s not true,” his character says. “Some of us have great stories, pretty stories that take place at lakes with boats and friends and noodle salad …. A lot of people. That’s their story. Good times. Noodle salad.”

I typically consider that scene once I take a chew of a chilly pasta salad, particularly on scorching summer season days that make the creamy dish appear, by turns, cooling and comforting.

I used to be reminded of that film scene once more when the subject of the thrifty and once-ubiquitous tuna pasta salad got here up throughout a Meals picture shoot at The Put up. A number of of my colleagues started telling sepia-hued tales of consuming large bowls of the stuff each summer season on screened porches with ceiling followers overhead or whereas on household picnics, swatting mosquitoes and sharing tales.

Get the recipe: Tuna Pasta Salad

There was a lot speak about what went into such a salad and what didn’t. Inexperienced peas had been a sticking level. One colleague instructed of the children utilizing their forks to flick the offending peas to the ground after which nudging them by the areas between the floorboards on the household’s porch.

I didn’t develop up consuming these tuna salads, however these tales had me wishing I had, they usually made me decided to repair myself a giant bowl earlier than summer season took its remaining bow.

Whether or not you name them pasta salads, noodle salads or macaroni salads, the concoctions historically have a couple of issues in widespread. They’re served chilly, most frequently embody a combination of easy-to-find, cheap substances and are introduced collectively by a creamy dressing.

For this one, made with canned tuna, I drew on inspiration from my colleagues’ favourite recipes. I went with little elbow macaroni as a result of it permits the fork to seize a combination of the numerous substances in every chew. I added chopped egg for extra protein and heft, and moderned up the dressing a bit by making it with the same old mayonnaise combined with tangy Greek yogurt.

For crunchy distinction, I favored chopped onion, celery and radishes. If you wish to veg it up extra, you might sub in recent corn, halved cherry tomatoes, or chunks of cucumber or zucchini.

High quality over amount: Easy methods to throw collectively a spectacular pasta salad

Slightly Dijon mustard and Creole seasoning gave the delicate dressing punch, however you can too go additional with minced serrano or crushed purple pepper flakes.

That’s the enjoyment of this salad — simply how versatile it may be.

We ate the pantry-friendly dish for dinner on a Friday night time. Then on Saturday, I scooped leftovers right into a lidded container and slipped that right into a soft-pack cooler as a take-along lunch on certainly one of our hikes.

Mid-hike, we discovered a spot of leafy shade close to a stream operating alongside the path. Climbing boots off and toes in that icy water, I fished the salad out, dug in and — similar to that — I’d made my very personal good-times-noodle-salad summer season reminiscence.

Get the recipe: Tuna Pasta Salad

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