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Monday, April 4, 2011

Tuna Tapas

"Tapas" is the word for a variety of appetizers, or snacks, in Spanish cuisine. They can be either warm or cold. In Spain, dinner is typically served between 9 and 11pm, which leaves a large period of time between work and dinner. It is common for tapas to be served during this time. I could eat tapas as a meal, since I like to eat small bites of different kinds of food in one sitting. One of my favorite restaurants, Viva, is a tapas lounge located in Reading, PA. They have amazing tapas there, in particular the Bacon-Wrapped Mediterranean Dates and the French Baked Brie Puff. Yum! This is a great place to go if you want fabulous tapas and cocktails. (Their main menu has great selections as well!) This recipe, eaten cold, can be served as tapas or as a meal. 

Tuna Shells with Tomato-Caper Relish


10 pasta shells 
1 lemon (1 tsp zest, 1 Tbsp juice)
2 cans white albacore tuna in water, drained
1/2 c mayo
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/4 small onion, finely chopped (or substitute onion powder or Tastefully Simple Onion Onion, about 2 tsp)
3 Tbsp caper, drained
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 medium vine-ripened tomatoes


1. Cook pasta shells according to package. Set aside to cool.  
2. Combine 1 tsp lemon zest, tuna, mayo, 1 Tbsp. parsley, onion, 1 Tbsp capers, 1/2 tsp pepper. Spoon tuna filling into cooled pasta shells (about 1 heaping Tbsp per shell).
3. For the relish, core and seed the tomatoes, then finely dice. Combine tomatoes, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 1 Tbsp parsley, 2 Tbsp capers, and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Garnish eat tuna-stuffed shell with about 1 Tbsp of relish. Serve cold.

Alissa's notes: Be sure to drain the tuna very well, so the filling is not watery. Also, cook a few extra pasta shells since a few usually tear during boiling. The capers add saltiness to this dish, so if you choose to omit them, you may want to add extra salt. Here is the website for Viva Good Life Bistro: www.vivagoodlife.com

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