Piquant pasta and tuna salad

The dressing for this colourful salad has a sweet sour flavour, which perfectly complements the lightly cooked zucchini, tuna, tomatoes and al dente pasta. Serve the salad cool, but not chilled, or try it while it is still warm. Mini pita bread is good served alongside, to mop up the dressing.

Piquant pasta and tuna salad


  • 250 g pasta twists or spirals, such as cavatappi, fusilli or rotini, or other shapes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sun–dried tomato pesto
  • 1 tablespoon white or red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 6 tomatoes, peeled, halved and cut into thin wedges
  • 1 can tuna in brine, about 200 g, drained and roughly flaked
  • 6 black olives, pitted and halved
  • fresh flat–leaf parsley to garnish (optional)


  1. Cook the pasta in boiling water for 10–12 minutes, or according to the packet instructions, until al dente.
  2. Drain well, rinse with cold water and drain again very thoroughly.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, heat half the oil in a saucepan.
  4. Add the onion and garlic, and fry for 3 minutes, stirring often.
  5. Add the remaining oil and the zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes.
  6. Add the sugar, sun–dried tomato pesto, vinegar and capers to the onion and zucchini.
  7. Heat for a few seconds, stirring until the ingredients have combined to form a dressing.
  8. Stir in the tomatoes, then transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and set aside to cool.
  9. Add the drained pasta to the bowl, then gently mix in the tuna and olives.
  10. Divide among 4 plates or transfer to a large serving bowl.
  11. Serve garnished with some flat–leaf parsley leaves, if liked.

Serves 4
Preparation: 15 minutes, plus cooling
Cooking: 15 minutes



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