Pasta Salad with Tuna and Peas


As a kid, I remember my mother being a busy woman.  For years, she put her career on hold to raise three kids while pursuing her Masters degree, making sure a homemade meal was on the table every night (family dinners were very important to my folks), and basically being there for all of us kids for whatever we needed and wanted.  While I may not have appreciated it in the way I should have then, I certainly do now as an adult taking care of my own family.  When she did return to work, she was the gym teacher at our local school and she went from stay at home mom to working mom who still did everything plus worked.  (Did I mention that I went to a K-12 school?!  I know, they hardly even exist anymore and perhaps never did near Philadelphia.)

She and my father juggled family life plus making sure that one if not both of them were present at ALL of our sporting events and extracurriculars (three kids + 2-3 sports per year = CRAZINESS).  So occasionally, my dad would fill in on the dinner piece.  My recollection of dad’s cooking skills included grilling, fishsticks, and frozen vegetables.  In spite of all the wins, for some reason, my brain vividly remembers the one major fail: burning the peas.  The scent of burning peas is so imprinted on my brain that I immediately begin to taste the char in my mouth.  To be fair, it was probably only once that my father almost burned the house down with this particular pea adventure.  But it did enough to make me resist and avoid peas at all costs up until about 3 years ago.  Why 3 years ago?  I can only attribute this change of heart to the ever changing palate, that continues to evolve and mature even if I do not.

I have grown to love, love peas and I toss them into whatever dish I can that makes sense.  They’re so sweet and pretty, adding great flavor and color to many dishes.  This dish combines my love of pasta with some of my other favorites.  For me, this is the quintessential easy lunch that combines peas, mayo, tuna, celery, carrots and pasta.

  • 3 C. pasta
  • 2 ribs of celery with tops, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 C. frozen peas, thawed
  • 3/4 C. mayonnaise
  • 1/2 C. sour cream
  • 2 cans tuna, drained
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 3 T. chopped parsley

Cook pasta according to directions.  Rinse under cold water.  Set aside while mixing the dressing.

In a large bowl, mix mayonnaise, sour cream, salt, pepper and parsley.  Add veggies and tuna.  Break tuna up into small chunks.  Add pasta.  Mix thoroughly.  Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.

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