My small town used to have a Starbucks and while I love to visit my locally-owned coffee shops, there was something a little 'big-city' feel about having a Starbucks. Sadly it closed and I am still happily patronizing the small coffee shops that squeezed out the big corporate giant. One of the things I enjoyed was the food. One salad in particular and one dessert. I'll share the salad recipe here and the dessert will have to wait for another day. The tuna salad is one I just loved. I like tuna salad as much as the next gal, but it can be a little bland. White pasta, white mayo, and light tuna. It lacks color and zip. So when I tasted this one, I knew I had to figure out a way to replicate this one at home. It works great to mix the dressing in a blender so you get the peppers and tomatoes really smooth. To cook frozen peas, I put in a Pyrex measuring cup, cover with boiling water and let stand for a few minutes then drain. Lovely green peas are ready for salad without being overcooked! I do the same thing to soften the sun dried tomatoes. I hope you enjoy this flavorful twist on tuna salad.
2 c. dry penne pasta, cooked according to directions and cooled
8 sundried tomato halves, softened and chopped
4 halves roasted red peppers in oil (I use Mezzetta)
1/4 c. sundried tomato vinaigrette
1/2 c. real mayo
1/4 c. chopped fresh basil leaves
1 c. peas cooked and cooled
1 can albacore tuna in water drained
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
Prepare pasta according to directions. Drain and cool. In a blender combine vinaigrette, mayo, peppers, tomatoes, basil and cayenne. Blend until smooth. Pour dressing over pasta. Stir in peas and tuna. Chill until serving.