17 May, 2010

Pasta Salad with Pesto and Tuna

I've been cooking quite a bit recently, trying out new recipes: especially cool drinks and salads as summer is approaching fast. And the irony is, I get hungry doing so. In fact, I sometimes forget eating while busy cooking. As fellow food bloggers might know, you can't just eat what you cook. Pictures need to be taken, food needs to be styled. I am telling you, you better not be hungry while doing so.
That's why salads like this one are not going to be one-hit wonders in my kitchen/on my lunch plate. You most probably have all ingredients at home and it takes literally no more than 10 minutes to have this delicious and nutritious salad on you plate.
The combination of pasta and pesto is no culinary secret. Adding some canned tuna gives it an extra twist. And I don't know about you, but I always feel like I should eat more seafood. The health benefits of tuna are widely known. Freshly made pesto has got all good ingredients too: nuts, olive oil, garlic and basil. And with regards to the pasta, go with whole wheat pasta or try some gluten-free ones. I used Kamut Quinoa pasta here, and found that a good alternative to regular pasta.
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PASTA SALAD WITH PESTO AND TUNA


2 cups of pasta (preferably small-shaped)
4-6 tablespoons pesto (see below for recipe)
1 small can of high-quality tuna, drained and flaked

Pesto
1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
1 cup walnuts or pine nuts
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Serves 2-3
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Pesto
Combine basil leaves, nuts, garlic and Parmesan cheese (if used) and blend in a food processor until it becomes a smooth paste. Slowly blend in the olive oil (only taking a small amounts at a time) until fully incorporated. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook pasta according to instructions. Stir in the pesto while the pasta is still warm. When cooled mix in the tuna. Garnish with fresh herbs, like chives or parsley.

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