Warm Pasta Salad

KCTS 9 Cooks Dinner

Presented by: Paula Nemzek, KCTS 9 Cooks

Cook's Note: Serve this summery meal warm or at room temperature.

serves 6 to 8


  • 1 pound dry campanelle (bell-shaped), rotini, or farfalle (bow tie) pasta
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cans oil-packed Italian tuna, drained, or use 1 cup leftover cooked salmon
  • 1 14-ounce can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives, halved
  • 1 carton grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, slivered
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • freshly grated Parmesan


Bring a 6- to 8-quart pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add a teaspoon of salt, then add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the pasta or scoop out with a slotted spoon and set noodles aside. It’s OK if there is a little water left in the pasta. The noodles will absorb it while you’re cooking the veggies. Reserve about 1 1/2 cups of the pasta water for later use to help keep the salad moist.

In a large (14-inch) skillet, heat half of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and onion and cook, stirring frequently, until they start to soften, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat a bit and stir in the garlic; cook for about 30 seconds. Add 1/4 cup of the pasta water and add in the tuna, breaking it into chunks. Add the artichoke hearts, olives, tomatoes, basil, and thyme. Stir occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to release their juices, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the pasta to the veggie mixture, along with the parsley. Add the remaining olive oil and toss until everything is evenly mixed. Add more pasta water if needed. Season salad with salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with fresh Parmesan. Serve salad in a large bowl, accompanied by crusty bread and a nice Italian wine, such as a Pinot Grigio or a Soave.


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