Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Tuna Pasta Salad

One of my favorite dishes to make for lunch when I am not in the mood for a lot of cooking is pasta salad. I've become obsessed with making Tonnato sauce, a tuna based Italian sauce regularly served over veal, but great tossed in pasta salad and one of the stars in this dish.

And honestly, pasta salad does NOT have to be boring. It can be a world of textures and contrast of flavors, satisfying and delicious! The use of different dressings make this salad a simple meal that can be made with whatever you have in your fridge and pantry. Lately, I've been using Eden Foods Ume Plum Vinegar, which I received a complimentary bottle of, alongside some of their oils.

What's Ume Plum Vinegar? It's flavor. It's balance. It's bright! It's what every pasta salad needs in order to stand out from the usual suspects. Here's what Eden Foods has to say about it:
Treasured by-product from traditional pickling of EDEN Umeboshi Plums with sea salt and shiso (beefsteak) leaf. Ruby red, tangy, very salty. Sprinkle over cooked or steamed vegetables, add to salad dressings and dips, and use for pickling.
Added to this pasta salad, it makes the raw vegetables stand out, slightly pickling them as the salad settles and the flavors mingle. Bacon adds that needed salty element and tuna pulls it all together. The Ume Plum Vinegar has brighten up my cooking, were I've also tried my hand in quick pickling some radishes with it. The radishes pickle nicely when sliced thinly and turned a lovely pink color, thanks to the Ume Plum Vinegar.

Tuna Pasta Salad
Serves 4

1/2 pound dry pasta, cooked 
4 strips of bacon, diced
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
2 teaspoons Sriracha
1 can canned tuna
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 stalk celery, diced
1/4 of a small red cabbage, thinly sliced

  1. Reserve cooked pasta to the side and in a hot saute pan, cook bacon until crisp. Save bacon fat. 
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, olive oil, vinegar, Sriracha and mustard. Incorporate tuna, red bell pepper, celery, and red cabbage. 
  3. Drizzle in bacon fat and bacon pieces. 
  4. Toss together with pasta and adjust seasoning by adding salt and pepper. 
Share the Pasta Salad love! What ingredients would you toss in your pasta salad? 

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