A wonderful lunch staple in Italy is a tuna pasta salad – carbs and healthy protein all in one meal! 
We know tuna an economical way to feed your family at around $1.29 a can – you’ll need three cans for this recipe: and just under $15.00 to feed four people!

  • 3 cans of your favorite tuna – Starkist white meat tuna $1.29 x 3 = $3.87
  • 1 box of Barilla pasta elbow shape $1.89
  • 1 green pepper$1.00
  • 1 small shallot or yellow onion $.89
  • 1 carrot – $.89
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil – $.50
  • Salt and pepper to taste – $.20
  • Optional bread – 5 rolls for $5.00

Tip: If your family doesn’t like tuna – use 1/2 pound of cooked chicken breast and cut into small cubes for around the same price of the tuna – $3.87! 

Let’s start cooking!

First, you’ll need to boil salted water to cook the pasta.  Once the pasta is cooked – drain the water and leave that on the counter until we are ready for the pasta later in the recipe. Next is the onion – I like to sautee my onion in olive oil versus using raw onion – so put a little olive oil in a pan and add your chopped onion – the finer you chop the onion the better!!  Using low heat cook the onion until it is transparent for about 5 minutes.  Remove from the pan and add to a large shallow bowl.  Next, chop your green pepper and carrot and add that to the onions – next drain three cans of tuna and add to the bowl – then add the cooked elbow pasta and mix together.  Now add the 1/2 cup of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.  Mix again thoroughly – and you’re done!!  It may surprise you that we don’t use mayonnaise in this dish but trust me – if you use good robust olive oil you won’t miss the mayonnaise – and olive oil is healthier than mayo!

You can use this in a delicious sandwich with fresh bread rolls or take a generous scoop and plate it on top of a piece of lettuce and you’ve got lunch for five for less than $15.00.

By Rosemaria Altieri