Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pasta Salad with Tuna, Tomato and Artichokes

It took a long time before it occurred to me to eat an artichoke and now I love them. One of my favorite take and bake pizza joints had a creamy garlic chicken pizza that featured artichokes, olives and a creamy white garlic sauce. I had to order it with the ‘chokes on the side because the kids didn’t care for them.
Not long after that epiphany I discovered the tuna/artichoke combination in panini and it quickly became another favorite. Last night I was craving those flavors but felt like something a little different. What I ended up doing was combining a couple of diced tomatoes (vine-ripened in your own back yard would really shine in this), sliced black olives, a couple cans of tuna, a small jar of marinated artichoke hearts adding it to some whole wheat penne. It was fantastic. 

Honey told me that I had made a Roman pasta salad without even realizing it. He said a dish like this would be eaten cold. I had it hot for dinner last night and cold this morning for breakfast and I thought it was fabulous both ways. It was quick, easy, delicious; light yet extremely satisfying.
I imagine that Italian tuna packed in olive oil would be fantastic too, but I’ve never seen it in any of the stores I normally shop at. Not even Trader Joe’s!

Pasta Salad with Tuna, Tomato and Artichokes
6 ounces whole wheat penne
2 6 ounce cans of oil-packed tuna, drained
1 small jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
3 tomatoes, diced
1\2 c sliced black olives
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 Tbs olive oil
1\2 c Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cook penne according to package instructions.  As the pasta cooks, combine tuna, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, olives, garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Drain pasta and add to the bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Toss and grate cheese over the top.

I won't presume to tell you how many servings you'll have, but Daniele and I both had seconds and leftovers for breakfast.