Tuna Pasta Salad with Arugula Pesto & Dates

Enjoy this tuna-rich pasta salad anytime of the week. From weekend parties to weekday lunches, this flavorful dish won’t disappoint.

50 Minutes Total Time

4 Servings


  • 2 – 5 oz. cans Genova Yellowfin Tuna in Olive Oil, drained
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 4 cups arugula
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons butter (optional)
  • Zest of 2 lemons (optional)
  • 1 cup grated parmigiano reggiano, plus more for garnish (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 oz. whole wheat orecchiette or other dried pasta
  • 1/2 cup jarred sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dates, pitted and quartered
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup dill, chopped (optional or sub. 1 tablespoon dried)
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped (optional or sub. 1 tablespoon dried)


  1. Preheat an oven to 325º F.
  2. Toast the pine nuts on a sheet tray for 8-12 minutes, or until golden. Set aside to cool.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare an ice water bath by filling a large bowl full of cold water and ice. Stir the arugula into the boiling water and cook until it is bright green and tender, about 30 seconds; this is called blanching. Drain the arugula, immediately shock it in the ice water, and set aside to fully drain, covered with a towel.
  4. In a blender or food processor, add arugula, garlic, pine nuts, butter, parmesan, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Puree on high, incorporating the olive oil to your desired thickness.
  5. Place the pesto in a bowl and cover tightly to avoid discoloring. If not using, reserve in the fridge for up to three days.
  6. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (about 1-2 tbsp of salt). The water should be salty like broth.
  7. Add the pasta, and return to a boil, stirring occasionally. Taste the pasta for doneness 2 minutes earlier than package instructions. Once cooked, drain the pasta and immediately transfer to a large bowl. Do not rinse.
  8. Add the pesto gently until evenly distributed. Then fold in the Genova Yellowfin Tuna, sun-dried tomatoes, dates, and olives.
  9. Divide between shallow bowls and finish with extra cheese and the herbs.


Find Genova Seafood in stores and online.