Pasta and Tuna Salad with Zucchini and Sundried Tomato Pesto

The dressing for this simple, colourful pasta and tuna salad has a sweet-sour flavour, which perfectly complements the lightly cooked zucchini, tuna, sundried tomato pesto and pasta. Serve the salad cool, but not chilled, or try it while it is still warm.

Servings Prep Time Cook Time
4servings 15minutes 15minutes
Servings Prep Time
4servings 15minutes
Cook Time
Servings: servings
Servings: servings
  1. Cook the pasta twists in boiling water for approximately 10–12 minutes, or according to the package instructions, until they are just al dente. Drain the pasta well, rinse well with cold water and then drain again very thoroughly.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat half the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion and garlic, and fry for 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion and garlic are softened. Add the remaining olive oil and the zucchinis and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes.
  3. Add the sugar, the sundried tomato pesto, white or red wine vinegar and capers to the onion and zucchini mixture. Heat for a few seconds, stirring until all the ingredients have combined to form a dressing.
  4. Stir in the tomatoes, then transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and set aside to cool.
  5. Add the drained pasta to the bowl, then gently mix in the tuna and black olives. Divide the pasta and tuna salad among 4 plates or transfer to a large serving bowl. Serve garnished with some Italian parsley leaves.
Recipe Notes

Pasta and tuna salad with zucchini and sundried tomato pesto variations: To increase the fibre content of this dish and make a more substantial meal, you can add 1 can (540 ml) pinto beans, drained, with the pasta. • Omit the tuna for a vegetarian dish. • Canned anchovies can also be used instead of tuna. Drain the oil from 1 small can (50 g) and use it instead of the olive oil for cooking the ingredients in step 2. • You can also use 220 g baby yellow squash instead of zucchinis. Trim their tops and bases, then slice them in half.

Per serving: 377 calories, 18 g protein, 13 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 18 mg cholesterol, 47 g total carbohydrate, 11 g sugars, 7 g fibre, 253 mg sodium

Using tuna canned in water, rather than in oil, keeps the fat and salt content of the dish somewhat lower. Tomatoes and zucchinis together ensure that this simple salad provides an excellent supply of vitamin C.