There are a few recipes my mom made that I still make on a very regular basis for my own family now. I have shared a few with you already, but today I am gearing up for warmer weather and sharing my favorite go-to simple meal/side dish my mom makes.
Maca-tuna is one of my family’s favorite meals in the summer time, and I now understand why my mom made it so often…it takes very little time to make, and it tastes SO GOOD! I now make it for a simple meal for my family of three, or as a side dish for a BBQ or a potluck. It’s very versatile, and can be made to your family’s taste but the key ingredients have to be there: Pasta, Tuna, Miracle Whip.
I get a lot of people telling me they won’t eat anything with Miracle Whip on it, they don’t like the taste, it’s weird etc. I would have to agree in most cases. I grew up in a home where Miracle Whip was Mayo. We never used traditional mayo and I didn’t really know there was a difference until I moved out and had roommates who thought I was crazy using it on everything. My tastes have changed now, and I prefer good ‘ole mayo, but there are a few of my mom’s recipes that just cannot be touched, changed, or even tweaked to use mayo because they are just right like they are. I no longer tell people that there’s Miracle Whip in this recipe and everybody loves it. Those who ask for the recipe are always shocked that it’s in there (especially those who don’t like it!).
I will give you one bit of advice for making pasta for ANY pasta salad. The best way to get cold pasta that is still soft is to cook it just a minute or so past “al dente”, and then once you drain the pasta, drop the colander full of pasta into an ice cold bowl of water (ice cubes in it and everything). Let the pasta rest for a few minutes while you finish chopping your veggies, then pour it out onto a clean, dry towel and dab it dry. I know it sounds weird, but my pasta salads are always ready to eat as soon as I mix them! No cooling needed.
So…here’s my momma’s recipe for Maca-Tuna!
- 1 Box Shaped Pasta
- 3-4 Cans Chunk Light Tuna, drained
- Miracle Whip
- Carrots, chopped
- Cucumber, chopped
- Cook Pasta as directed on box, drain and cool (see above for tips).
- In a bowl, mix vegetables, drained tuna and pasta.
- Add Miracle Whip little by little until you get your desired consistency. I prefer about 1/2-1 cup depending on the shape of the pasta and how much gets absorbed, but add a little, mix, add a little more, mix etc.
This is how I make it every time, but add and subtract veggies as you like. It’s awesome with tomatoes, chopped red onion, celery, cold asparagus, peas, and red or green bell pepper.
Hope your family loves it as much as mine does, or that it’s a hit at your next bbq!