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02 May 2013

Cold Pasta With Mozzarella, Tomatoes & Tuna

If you can see one of our rooms now, you will wonder what happened.  The floor is covered with boxes of summer clothes.  There are four of us so you can imagine how much they are.  Help!  Summer temp has arrived and I still haven't switched the seasonal clothes.  Just looking at the wool and thick clothes in our closets gives me beads of perspiration.  I pulled out our summer clothes that almost match, we all went out and headed to a friend's house to celebrate Labor Day with a barbecue lunch.

On Labor Day, most of the country celebrate it by taking out their barbecue grills and outdoor stuff.  Lunch is long, simple and abundant and the rest of the afternoon is spent relaxing and playing outdoor games.  It's the day when you let your hair down and enjoy the simple perks of life. 

We spent our day with some Neapolitan friends.  Now, gastronomy from the south of Italy is known to be very good with every region boasting their own specialties.  Neapolitan cuisine is, without a doubt, one of the best of the country.  The people embrace their food culture with pride and with fervor.  And typical of any gatherings, there is always a friendly debate on which region has better cooking and food products. 

What did we have on the tableBruschette al pomodoro which should never be absent from any grilling.  This time, we used Pomodori Vesuviani (Vesuvian tomatoes) from Naples which are very good and tasty.  Salsicce (sausages), chicken and other kinds of meat, artichokes cooked the classic Neapolitan way (which I will be sharing with you soon when I find the proper artichokes), pecorino with fava beans, salame, macedonia di fragole e kiwi (strawberry & kiwi salad), cake with amaretti, chocolate mousse, homemade liqueur and wine.  What can I say?  Neapolitans know how to wow their guests. 

And yes, before I forget, this pasta fredda (cold pasta).  Since it is almost summer and the heat is creeping on us fast, I am starting to think of more cold dishes like this pasta fredda.   There are actually so many ways to put together a good pasta fredda and as I move along and compose good ones, I will always share them with you.  In one way or another, I have already done a similar composition but there's always one or two ingredients that change the overall taste of the dish.  Here's a scrumptious pasta salad that's sure to wake up your Mediterranean senses. 

Buon appetito!

Cold Pasta With Mozzarella, Tomatoes & Tuna

Serves 4
  • 300 g. short pasta (You can use any kind of short pasta.  I used pipe rigate.)
  • Extra virgin olive oil (good quality)
  • Salt
  • 3 tablespoons capers, preserved in vinegar (If you are using the ones preserved in salt, rinse first under the tap, give a light squeeze & soak in white wine vinegar for about 10 - 15 minutes.)
  • 1/3 cup good olives (I used the Ligurian taggiasche olives.), chopped
  • 240 g. canned tuna (preserved in oil), drained 
  • 280 g. canned corn kernels
  • 250 g. mozzarella, squeezed lightly to send away water & diced
  • 250 g. datterini tomatoes (or any fresh sweet tomatoes like cherry tomatoes), halved or quartered, depending on the size of the tomatoes
  • Parsley, chopped
  1. Boil water for the pasta.  Add salt when it boils.  Add the pasta.  Cook according to the cooking time suggested in the package.  When cooked, drain immediately & run under cold tap water to stop the cooking.  Drain.  Mix with extra virgin olive oil to avoid sticking to each other.  Let it cool.
  2. In a big bowl, mix the pasta, capers, olives, tuna, corn, tomatoes, mozzarella, parsley, extra virgin olive oil and salt. 
Note:  You can adjust the quantities of the ingredients according to your taste.  The more ingredients there are, the tastier the salad will be.