(Mentioned in Episode 14 of “A Woman with a Very Large Knife,” which you can find in the podcast section. A Summer favorite, you can get around 8 servings out of this. Best if you make it the night before and let it chill. It’s très Betty Crocker. This is a variation of one we grew up with – but with a little less mayo. A little more tuna and spice and veg. Forgive me, Mom.


•4 cups of pasta shells, uncooked
•4 cans of tuna (packed in water, drained)
•2 tsp olive oil
•1 tsp thyme
•1 tsp smoked paprika
•1/2 tsp of onion powder
•1/2 tsp cayenne
•one large yellow onion
•one red bell pepper
•salt and pepper to taste
•four stalks of celery
•One cup of mayonnaise
•1/4 cup of plain yogurt
•Red pepper flakes
•Two heads of romaine
•Two large ripe tomatoes


•Cook pasta shells until al dente. Drain and set aside until cool.
•Chop onion and sauté in olive oil until onions soft and somewhat see-through. (Mom’s version has raw onions, but these days, those make my stomach hurt.)
•Chop red bell pepper and add to onions once the latter are close to done.
•Set aside onions and red bell pepper to cool.
•Chop up celery and place in large bowl with cooled pasta, tuna, thyme, paprika, onion powder, salt and pepper. If onions and red bell pepper are cool enough, add them at this time.
•In a separate bowl, mix up mayo and plain yogurt. Dump this into the tuna salad and mix it up. Season with more salt, pepper, cayenne, and red pepper flakes until you’ve got it the way you want it.
•Serve on a bed of chopped romaine with tomato wedges.