Tuna and celery pasta salad

Oops, been on hiatus recently. Spring break for universities just passed, so I was pretty busy trying to squeeze in overdue catch-ups with the friends who were back in town. Work has been pretty relentless too. And I’ve been working on a couple pieces for a magazine, which has been pretty exciting — but more to come later.

As April rolled around though, my life has significantly slowed down. Some went back to school, some are getting back into work mode, and the rainy weather seems bring out the homebody in everyone.

Something about the quietness of this week makes me feel sort of nostalgic about my childhood days when things were so carefree and hanging out was so easy. I remember being able to walk around and just hang out with the kids in my neighborhood, no questions asked.

But back to the food. One of the things I ate the most as a kid were tuna fish sandwiches. My mom would make the most bomb tuna fish sandwiches – my favorite part was the chunks celery mixed up in there. As I grew older though, I started to stray away from the sandwiches and found a new love in the Tuna Tarragon pasta salad at Sweet Tomatoes (some may know it as Soup Plantation). To this day, still one of my favorite things there. Basically, tuna and celery make me happy. Could just be the nostalgic factor, but probably mostly because it’s delicious.

This rainy day, I wanted to take a shot at making my version of this pasta salad.

Yep – so good.

12oz medium shell pasta
2 cans tuna in water
1 tbsp canned tuna juice
1 cup celery, finely diced
1/3 cup sweet pickle, finely diced
1/3 cup sweet pickle juice
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tbsp tarragon leaves, dried
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp white pepper

1. In a large pot, bring some water to boil. Throw in a pinch of salt. Boil the shell pasta for about 10-12 minutes, or until al dente (slightly firm to the bite). The texture of this pasta is key! Make sure you don’t overcook it.

2. Meanwhile, make the dressing. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the rest of the ingredients: tuna, tuna juice, celery, sweet pickle, sweet pickle juice, sour cream, mayo, dijon mustard, tarragon, salt, and white pepper.

Tuna and celery pasta salad

Tuna and celery pasta salad


3. When the shells are done boiling, strain and immediately run it under cool water until the shells are completely cooled.

Tuna and celery pasta salad


4. Fold the shells gently into the the dressing until evenly coated. *Note: A lot of the dressing will probably seep to the bottom, so make sure you’re folding from the bottom up!

Tuna and celery pasta salad


5. Cover with saran wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours (let the flavors marry and the dressing set) before serving. I know you might want to eat this right away, but trust me – it’s so much better if you let it set.

Tuna and celery pasta salad

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