I love this Summer Pasta Salad because it is ideal for a hearty lunch or a light dinner. We had it for dinner one night and it was just perfect. I also love the yellow fin tuna from Italy. It is not exotic, but it is full of flavor. A nice accent.

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  • Course Dinner
  • Cuisine Italian
  • Keyword 30 Minute Meal, Barbeque, Do-Ahead, Family Reunion, Pasta
Servings Prep Time Cook Time
4 people 10 minutes 20 minutes
Passive Time Total Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time Cook Time
4 people 10 minutes 20 minutes
Passive Time Total Time
30 minutes
If you are in a hurry, you can use store bought pesto instead of making the arugula pesto in the recipe.
Degree of Difficulty
  • 4 cups arugula blanched
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 whole zest of lemons
  • 1 tbspn softened butter
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/3 cup dried pasta
  • 1 can yellow fin tuna packed in olive oil (Italian is best)
  • 1/4 cup calamata olives or capers
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes cut into strips
  • 1/2 cup dates cut into strips
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 whole lemon squeezed over finished salad
Servings: people
  1. Gather all ingredients before starting the recipe.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside until ready to use.
  3. Cut sun-dried tomatoes and dates into thin strips and set aside until ready to use.
  4. To blanche arugula, place in a microwave proof dish, rinse under cold running water and cover with cling wrap. Cook on high for 1 minute and 30 seconds.
  5. Drain, place in a colander, and when cool enough to handle, squeeze out access water.
  6. Fill food processor with blanched arugula, pine nuts, parmesan cheese and lemon zest.
  7. Add a tablespoon of softened butter, garlic and while the processor is running, add the olive oil. Set aside until ready to use.
  8. Add 2-3 tablespoons of pesto to cooked pasta, toss to combine. Taste, add more pesto to taste.
  9. Add drained tuna, capers or kalamata olives, sun dried tomatoes and dates to pasta, toss to combine. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with chopped parsley and chopped dill. Toss gently and serve.

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