My Mom and I used to love a version of this salad served at an Italian restaurant called “Charlie’s” in Kitchener, Ontario. The restaurant is long gone and I never asked for their recipe, but this is my version. Hearty enough to be a main course at lunchtime, it is also great on a buffet, or packed in a picnic or lunchbox. It is so easy to make, and it benefits from being made ahead and chilled. You can even make it the night before and keep it chilled until you need it.
1pound dried pasta (penne or bow tie pasta work well)
2 cans of tuna (about 7 ounces, packed in water if possible), drained
About ½ cup each of celery and red or yellow pepper, or try some sliced little gem lettuce and / or cucumber
(I use about a cup and a half of vegetables for one salad.)
½ to ¾ cup mayonnaise
¼ teaspoon celery salt
Good squeeze of lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook the pasta as per the package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water until the pasta feels cold to the touch. Place the drained pasta in a very large mixing bowl.
Add the tuna, vegetables and lemon juice and stir with a fork. Now start to gradually add the mayonnaise, stirring with the fork as you go. You don’t want it too moist, but you do want the mayonnaise to cover all the pasta, vegetables and tuna generously. Add more mayonnaise if you need to.
Now taste the salad and add salt and pepper if desired. Put the salad into a serving bowl or individual Tupperware style containers. Chill well and serve.