Chickpea, Tuna & Caper Orecchiette Pasta Salad
Recipe type: Salad, Side, Pasta
Cuisine: Summer, French, Italian, American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-8
Making a good pasta salad isn't rocket science, but there are lots of ways to ruin one. My advice--pasta should only make up about half of the salad, do NOT rinse the pasta with cold water (toss it with the dressing while it's still hot so it absorbs the flavor but but doesn't feel greasy), and make sure to thoroughly drain all of the ingredients so it doesn't end up tasting watery and bland.
  • ¼ # Green Beans
  • ½ #Orecchiette Pasta
  • ½ pint Grape Tomatoes, halved
  • 1 15 oz. can Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 5 oz. can Olive Oil-Packed Tuna, flaked
  • 3 Tbsp. minced Red Onion or Shallot
  • 3 Tbsp. CapersFor the Vinaigrette:
  • 2 tsp. Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ¼ tsp. Kosher Salt
  1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a rolling boil and prepare an ice bath. Drop the beans in the boiling water until they turn bright green, 1-1/2 minutes, then remove with a large slotted spoon and immediately plunge into the ice bath. Allow the beans to cool completely, then remove, towel dry, and cut into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Meanwhile, return the water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package instructions. Be sure to stir the pot a few times as orrecchiette like to nestle into each other and stick. Drain the pasta very well and place in a large bowl.
  3. Combine the vinaigrette ingredients in a small jar and shake until well combined. Pour about half of the vinaigrette on the still warm pasta and toss to coat. Chill the pasta for 30 minutes or so before continuing.
  4. Add the sliced green beans, tomatoes, chickpeas, tuna, onion, and capers to the pasta. Toss with the remaining vinaigrette. Season with plenty of black pepper. The salad holds up well for a day or 2 and can be freshened up with a squeeze of lemon or a splash of vinegar before serving.
Recipe by strawberryplum at