How to make Genova yellowfin tuna pasta salad with arugula pesto & dates

Good Morning CT at Nine

(WTNH)– May is Mediterranean Diet Month! You may have heard of health benefits to this eating style and here to share more on the topic, and a recipe to try at home, is Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist Jamie Lee McIntyre.

Genova Yellowfin Tuna Pasta Salad with Arugula Pesto & Dates | Serves 4
Prep Time: 20-30 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes


  • Pesto
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 4 c arugula (optional)
  • 3/4 c extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons butter (optional)
  • Zest of 2 lemons (optional)
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus more for garnish (optional)
  • 1/2 t kosher salt
  • 1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
  • Pasta
  • 2 cans Genova Yellowfin Tuna in Olive Oil
  • 8 oz orecchiette or other dried pasta
  • 1/2 cup jarred sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dates, pitted and quartered
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley, chopped


  1. Preheat an oven to 325º F.
  2. Toast the pine nuts on a sheet tray for 8-12 minutes, or until golden.  Set aside to cool.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Prepare an ice water bath by filling a large bowl full of cold water and ice.  Stir the arugula into the boiling water and cook until it is bright green and tender, about 30 seconds, this is called blanching.  Drain the arugula, immediately shock it in the ice water, and set aside to fully drain, covered with a towel.  
  4. In a blender, add arugula, garlic, pine nuts, butter, parmesan, lemon zest, salt, and pepper.  Puree on high, incorporating the olive oil to your desired thickness.  
  5. Place the pesto in a bowl and cover tightly to avoid discoloring.  If not using, reserve in the fridge for up to three days.
  6. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (about 1-2 tbsp of salt). The water should be salty like broth.  
  7. Add the pasta, and return to a boil, stirring occasionally. Taste the pasta for doneness 2 minutes earlier than package instructions. Once cooked, drain the pasta and immediately transfer to a large bowl. Do not rinse.  
  8. Add the pesto gently until evenly distributed. Then fold in the tuna, sun-dried tomatoes, dates, and olives.
  9. Divide between shallow bowls and finish with extra cheese and the herbs.

Click here for the recipe.

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