27 June 2011

perfect potluck pasta salad / mom's tuna & shells

my mom made big vats of this stuff growing up. it tastes like summer to me. she always whipped it together in one of those large stainless steel bowls every mother seems to have on hand for church parties (or porridge for seven children). it's definitely a recipe for sharing as it makes a ginormous bowl-full.

until recently i have never actually written down the recipe. i am usually craving it and call my mom from the pasta aisle in the grocery store to make sure i have all the ingredients in my shopping cart. i decided it's a must on the blog. living in a home away from home, i've come to realize how handy it is to turn to my blog for favorite recipes as my dog-eared cookbooks are all packed away.

Tuna and Shells 
from Marty's kitchen

22 oz. package of small macaroni sea shells
3 hard boiled eggs, chopped
4 cans of tuna, drained
1 red bell pepper, diced
bunch of green onions, chopped
6 - 8 celery sticks, chopped
can of sliced black olives
 4 - 5  large spoonfuls of light Miracle Whip
salt and pepper

Boil pasta shells in a large pot (set timer for the least amount of cooking time on the directions so the pasta won't be too soft). To save time, I usually throw the eggs into the same pot of boiling water. It works like a charm. Meanwhile, wash and chop the rest of your ingredients. I usually make someone else drain the cans of tuna, as that chore is my least favorite. Feel free to add anything else from your fridge that sounds tasty.  

Drain and rinse pasta (and eggs) in cold water. Place eggs in a bowl of ice water for ease in peeling them. Set aside. Pour vegetables and tuna in a large bowl and mix together. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add pasta shells and hard boiled eggs (chopped). Now fold in the Miracle Whip, try not to think of the calories. This is when you might gross out because you are one of those people who highly prefer mayonnaise over Miracle Whip. And I will tell you to go ahead and use whatever you love. I usually use a regular rubber spatula and mix in two scoops at a time, watching for a good consistency. Stir until the salad is well combined. My mom always liked to top it off with a dash of paprika. Keep cold until your party starts. Enjoy.

on a side note / yes, i am loving the time traveler's wife so far. it's entertaining and sweet and kept me reading the whole way on our two hour road trip. am half way through and am reading it into the wee hours. don't you just love books that keep you up at night?! a very good, relaxing summer read. the story is told, ping ponging back and forth, by two main characters who just happen to be falling in love. i love when characters seem so real that you are surprised to learn they are brunette, as your mind's eye prefers to keep them blonde. another sign that i am fascinated with a book, it inspires me to write.


Ana Degenaar said...

I love tuna pasta!

Shannon@amomsyear said...

Nothing says "summer" like tuna and pasta salad. This was a staple in our home, too, when I was growing up. I love the colorful bowls in the first photo!

Anonymous said...

This looks absolutely tasty! I am snagging this and going to make it for dinner!

Jen Holtkamp said...

i love summer pasta salads! thanks for sharing :)

Mailbox Moments said...

Looks yummy!

Lesa @ Mailbox Moments

Miranda said...

Don't you love those recipes that everybody's mom makes that seem like they would be exactly the same but are somehow completely different? Our family prefers chicken instead of tuna and corn instead of green peppers.

I agree that this salad is like the essence of summer and serving it in a giant stainless steel bowl is a must!

Melanie said...

ooooh thank you. pasta salads always remind me of summer, too, and i only tend to eat them at group gatherings. i won't have to wait anymore! thanks again for sharing. happy summer!

Moments and Impressions said...

I was so SO surprised she was a brunette too! Weird. I imagined her as a little blond girl. That salad looks yummy.

Hannah said...

This sounds very similar to my mother-in-laws recipe, which I do really like. Very summery.

And your pictures somehow make such a down-to-earth salad seem elegant. How do you do that? ;)

SewSara said...

that's funny because my mom called ME today while I was at the grocery store and told me to get the ingredients to try this. :)

Erin {pughs' news} said...

Thanks, Marta! I had no idea what to make for dinner until I read this post! Now I do... Yum!

Carla G. said...

Making this tonight for our dinner...looks yummy! Thanks for sharing!

Christie - Childhood 101 said...

Oooh, love a pasta salad, bookmarking this one for when the warmer days return to my side of the world :)

meg duerksen said...

i love to eat pasta salad but have no clue how to make it! so thank you sooooo much. :)

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