Raised in a family who suffered through the Great Depression, I was often reminded how important it was to save money and never let good food go to waste. My mother never let me forget that “people were starving in other parts of the world.” Her words made a lasting impression.

Indeed, using one night’s leftovers for the next day’s meal helps me justify spending so much for top quality ingredients. Tuesday’s gemelli with tuna and cherry tomatoes is a perfect example. The pasta’s main ingredient, Italian tuna packed in olive oil, was quite expensive—close to $25 for the two six-ounce jars—add to this the cost of the other ingredients and we’re looking at almost$40.

The pasta was wonderful the first night; however, I’m not a fan of reheated pasta, especially when it was prepared with fish. So I thought I would serve it last night as a salad. I took the pasta from the fridge two hours before dinner so that it would come to room temperature. I then made a light vinaigrette with some extra-virgin olive oil and a little balsamic vinegar. After tossing the past in the dressing, I added the juice of one lemon, a finely minced clove of garlic, a few more quartered cherry tomatoes, a good pinch of salt (cold dishes always seem to require more salt) and some freshly ground black pepper.

I served the pasta on a bed of wild arugula dressed with a drizzle of olive oil, some lemon zest, and a pinch of slat.

Paired with a dry rosé from Provence, this repurposed pasta was the perfect dish for dining al fresco on a humid summer’s night.

Would enjoy hearing from others their thoughts about using leftovers.

4 thoughts on “Gemelli with Tuna and Tomatoes: Act II

  1. Your salad solution sounds very good. In my house, leftover pasta most often gets turned into a frittata. Chopped up, bound with eggs and grated parmigiano, and cooked in olive oil, almost any kind of not-too-heavily sauced cooked pasta makes a tasty lunch dish or dinner appetizer.

  2. Ah… with 6 of us, there often aren’t enough leftovers to create a second meal and usually they are destined for weekend lunches. But as an aside, I love the tuna with pasta – it’s a classic Italian dish that not too many people here realize. When I make it I use the Flott Yellowfin in a can – in oil. Which jarred brand do you use? And do you drain it?

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