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Tuna Pasta Salad Recipe with Lemon, Green Olives, and Cucumbers

Salad Ingredients:

2 cups (dry) Dreamfields Low-Carb rotini, cooked in boiling salted water and drained well
5-6 oz. good quality tuna packed in olive oil, drained
8 large Spanish green olives, cut into half moon slices (about 2/3 cup sliced olives)
2 small Persian cucumbers, cut into very small dice
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Dressing Ingredients:

lemon zest and lemon juice from one large lemon (about 1 T zest and 3 T lemon juice)
1/2 tsp. olive bring (from the jar of olives)
3 T mayo (I used regular mayo, but you could use light mayo if you prefer)
1 T olive oil

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, adding a couple of teaspoons of salt.  When the water boils, add the pasta, stir, and let it come back to a boil.  Lower heat a little and cook exactly 9 minutes (time it!) and then drain the pasta and let it cool.  (Don't rinse.)

While the pasta cooks, drain the tuna into a fine strainer and let the oil drain out.  Slice the olives into half-moon slices and finely chop the cucumbers.  (If you don't have small Persian cucumbers, I might scrape out the seeds from the cucumber so the salad doesn't get watery.)

Zest and juice the lemon.  If you're not sure how much lemon flavor you want, I would start with 2 T lemon juice and 2 tsp. lemon zest, mix in the olive brine and mayo, whisk in the olive oil, and then taste to see if you want to use the rest of the lemon juice and zest.

When the pasta has cooled, add the tuna, sliced olives, and chopped cucumbers to a bowl that's big enough to hold all the salad and mix in about half the dressing.  Gently stir in the pasta and as much additional dressing as you need for the salad to be as wet as you'd like it.  (I used all the dressing, but I like my salads on the wet side.)  Season salad to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper and serve.

I served some of this to my nephew Jake when it had been in the fridge overnight and we agreed it was still very good the next day.  If you have leftover dressing, you might want to add a bit more to the salad after it's been in the fridge.

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