Spicy Tuna Pasta Salad with Chopped Vegetables

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Radishes don’t make an appearance around here very often, but their crunch backed up by crisp sugar snap peas and sliced cornichons are part of what makes this tuna pasta salad worth sharing

In a meal where the protein comes from canned tuna, brightly colored vegetables in all their raw glory make it fresh.

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The Sriracha mayo holding everything together is a big part of this salad’s appeal. It imparts a hint of spiciness that tuna salad could really use.

Now, the only thing that comes close to reminding you of France is one of those radishes, but in Paris they simply would have dipped slices in salt and butter. Still, today we should talk about a certain beloved francophile.
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I have not yet tried a Julia Child recipe, but I was smitten with this lady after watching Meryl Streep play her in Julie & Julia, watching a few episodes of “The French Chef” and reading her book, “My Life in France.” Today would have been her 100th birthday, and I’ve loved reading the tributes to the lady all around the Internet. If you’re also a fan, here are some links for you:

This week’s Splendid Table podcast kicks off with interview clips from early on in the show when Lynne and Julia chatted about soufflé, Paris, and took listener’s calls. You can listen here.

Julia Moskin writes in The New York Times about the recipes that home cooks mastered and still count on Julia for. I really want to try that blackberry clafoutis. And here’s the Times’ page with all things Julia.

Watch her and Jacques Pepin cook together in episodes available on Hulu. Oh, and here’s Jacques recalling some sweet memories from their friendship. Of their cooking together, he said,

We did not follow recipes, creating them as the shows were filmed. We cooked like friends, spouses or couples do: cooking and drinking together, arguing, then sitting down and sharing the food.”

And from Julia herself, here’s one of my favorite quotes from her. Words to live by.

This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook – try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!”

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spicy tuna pasta salad with chopped vegetables

This pasta is best cold. If you’re trying to eat less mayo or want to add protein to this salad, use 1/4 cup plain and full-fat Greek yogurt and 2 tablespoons of mayo for the sauce. It’s better just with mayo, but this will be close. Don’t skip the Sriracha. That spiciness is a big part of what kept me coming back to this one. Recipe adapted from Joy the Baker.

1 1/2 cups whole wheat penne
1 heaping teaspoon whole grain mustard
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 heaping teaspoon Sriracha
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
6 ounces (1 can) albacore white tuna in water
1/2 cup sliced radishes
1/3 cup sliced green onions
1/3 cup sliced cornichones
1 cup sliced sugar snap peas
1 cup lightly packed spinach leaves
1 cup lightly packed arugula
salt

Cook penne. Drain and rinse pasta in cold water.

Whisk together mustard, mayonnaise, Sriracha, vinegar, and black pepper in a small bowl.

Drain tuna and crumble it into small pieces and set on cutting board with chopped vegetables. Toss pasta, sauce, tuna, radishes, green onions, cornichones, and sugar snap peas in a large bowl.

Before serving, toss the spinach and arugula into the pasta salad. Taste and season with salt.

Serves 4 as a light lunch.

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