Tuna and Asparagus Pasta Salad

A good work lunch is a wonderful thing. It’s summer, the sun is shining out there outside my window, and no one wants to be stuck in the office. By no one, I mean me. But lunch helps. It takes me out of email-land and puts me under a tree in the quad, with ample passerby traffic and a good book to entertain me.

Pasta salads are quintessential summer food for me. Picnic-friendly, veggie-laden, and simple. What more do you need? Besides a patch of grass and a shady tree, of course.

Tuna and Asparagus Pasta Salad

1 lb. pasta (I used spaghetti)
1 can tuna (your choice; I used light, packed in water), drained
2 tbsp. dijon mustard
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
1 garlic clove, whole, with skin on
1 bunch of asparagus
olive oil
6 oz. kalamata olives
1 oz. capers
goat cheese
zest of 1 lemon
parmesan cheese
basil, julienned

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and then add your pasta.

Rinse asparagus, snap off ends, and then cut them into inch-long pieces. Arrange in a single layer on a cookie sheet, and throw the garlic clove on there. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper. Put in the oven to roast at the same time you put the pasta in the water. When the pasta is done, the asparagus should be perfectly roasted. Take a peek at them during the process to make sure they are not getting overdone (cooking times will vary with the thickness of the asparagus. By the way, try to get the super thin ones–they are amazing).

In a large bowl, combine tuna, mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Mash together with a fork until thoroughly combined. Add the olives, capers, and roasted asparagus to the bowl and set aside.

When the pasta is cooked to al dente, drain and add to the existing bowl. Coat with olive oil and then combine with the other ingredients. Add the goat cheese, parmesan, lemon zest, basil, and 2-3 pinches of salt. Peel the skin off the roasted garlic and smash with a mortar and pestle. Add to the bowl. Toss everything together until well combined, making sure that the smashed garlic is distributed throughout.

I prefer to serve this cold, so put in the fridge and bring it to lunch the next day!


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About Kate Soto


One response to “Tuna and Asparagus Pasta Salad”

  1. Kate Soto says :

    Looks yummy. I’m not sure about the capers. Love, Mom

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