Make Ahead

Pasta Tonnato Salad

October  4, 2022
2 Ratings
  • Makes a huge bowl and serves many
Author Notes

A new spin on an old favorite. Take it to a potluck or BBQ...serves many and sure doesn't cost much! —inpatskitchen

What You'll Need
  • For the tonnato sauce
  • 2 x 4.5 ounce cans tuna in olive oil
  • 3/4 cup homemade mayo or a great quality comercial one
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons capers in brine
  • 2 teaspoons of the caper brine
  • 1 tablespoon anchovy paste
  • For the salad
  • 16 ounces dry pasta shells
  • Juice of a whole lemon
  • 1 large (about 4 cups) diced unpeeled English cucumber (small dice)
  • 1 15 ounce can chick peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 3/4 cup finely diced red onion
  • The tonnato sauce
  1. For the tonnato sauce
  2. Place all of the ingredients (including the oil from the tuna) in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Refrigerate.
  1. For the salad
  2. Cook the pasta per package directions. Quickly rinse in cool water and drain. Place the pasta in a large mixing bowl and stir in the lemon juice. Let the pasta cool to room temperature.
  3. Once the pasta has cooled add the cucumber, chick peas, red onion and parsley. Stir in the tonnato sauce and refrigerate a few hours before serving.
  4. NOTE: If after refrigerating the salad seems a little dry (sometimes that happens!) just stir in a little more mayo or extra virgin olive oil to your taste.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • lapadia
  • inpatskitchen
  • Kathy Molitor
    Kathy Molitor

Recipe by: inpatskitchen

I think I get my love for food and cooking from my mom, who was an amazing cook. She would start baking and freezing a month before Christmas in order to host our huge open house on Christmas afternoon. I watched and I this day I try not to procrastinate when it comes to entertaining. My cooking style is pretty much all over the place, although I'm definitely partial to Greek and Italian cuisine. Oh yes, throw a little Cajun in there too!

4 Reviews

Kathy M. September 28, 2020
I have made this exactly as it is written and it is perfect! Thank you for a wonderful recipe....I always have positive comments when I serve it. I give you and food 52 the credit.
inpatskitchen September 29, 2020
Thanks so much Kathy! We think it's extremely refreshing and budget friendly!
lapadia July 12, 2012
Cold tuna and pasta, always a favorite of mine!
inpatskitchen July 12, 2012
Brings back all those backyard and block parties doesn't it? Glad to see some us still love the classics!