My mom made this for us every summer for a cold lunch, dinner, snack that wouldn’t overheat the kitchen and would keep for days. It’s the sort of thing that is a typical 1970’s magazine recipe laden with cheese and mayonnaise and canned tuna (quelle horreur!) but that I want to eat every summer.
I use red onions and add italian parsley for color, and typically add either some sriracha sauce or hot sauce for just a little more dimension (note – I use Cholula hot sauce, which I have been using for a while with no ill-gluten effects, but find it difficult getting confirmation of this. The most plainly gluten-free hot sauce per internet is Tapatio. Please, do your own research if your health depends on it).
Ingredients aside, it’s just good. Filling, in the way you want summer food to be – cool and not super heavy. You know, mayonnaise and cheese aside. To make it gluten-free friendly, I use Tinkyada pasta – I’ve used the macaroni, the small shells, the fusilli. But the macaroni is my favorite. Because it reminds me of a typical 1970’s magazine recipe.
Tuna Macaroni Summer Salad
1 16-oz bag of small pasta (like macaroni, shells, etc)
2 12-oz cans of white albacore tuna in water, well-drained
4 ribs of celery, diced
1 medium red onion (or 1/2 large red onion), diced
1/3 cup italian parsley, minced and packed
8 oz medium or sharp cheddar, cubed
2/3 cup mayonnaise (I use Spectrum, because it says gluten-free on the label)
1 heaping teaspon of Sriracha or hot sauce (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp lemon juice
Boil the pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water so the pasta stops cooking. Keep rinsing until the pasta is cool. While pasta is boiling, do your chopping and mincing. I do it all on one chopping board since I don’t love washing washing washing when it’s all going to be mixed together anyway, and nothing will give me salmonella from this uncooked salad.
Being sure that the pasta is well-drained (because you don’t really want this to get watery), and that the tuna is well-drained (ditto), put it in a large bowl. Add the veggies, mayo, optional hot sauce, salt, pepper, lemon juice and very gently fold this all together.
Taste for seasonings and adjust. Either eat right away, or let it hang out together in the fridge for the flavors to unify and meld together. Eat. But you didn’t need me to tell you that last part.