Posts Tagged ‘Italian

This delicious Cannellini and Tuna Salad recipe came from my parents who learned how to make it in Italy.  I started calling it “Protein Salad” one summer when I was serving it to my friends’ teenagers.  I figured if an athlete hears ‘protein’ he will be more likely to eat it.

Protein Salad
2 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 7oz cans white tuna, drained
1 cup finely chopped onion (I use vidalia/sweet)
6 TBSP salad oil (this is how the original recipe was written, and I usually use half extra virgin olive oil and half vegetable oil)
2 TBSP red wine vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 cup parsely, chopped (I usually just chop up a huge bunch and don’t measure.  I’m sure I use more than 1/2 cup!)

Protein Salad ingredients Protein Salad mixed Protein SaladThis is so simple, and absolutely delish!

The creamy beans are really satisfying and this is a healthy lunch choice.

(And the teenage boy actually ate it and liked it!)

Growing up in Italy, our mom always served pastina in brodo.  As a matter of fact, I still have my “recipe”.

Pastina in brodo recipe

 We now make it for our kids, but I don’t really measure.  
I add about 1 1/2 inches of water to my 4 quart soup pot  (approximately 6 cups) and heat until boiling.
Add two Vegetarian Bouillon cubes.  (Mom used the tiny cubes of chicken flavored bouillon but we like Knorr extra large cubes in this home.)
Add a few scoops of pastina pellets (Acini di pepe).   After adding the pasta turn down to lowest heat and cook until pastina is done, around 10 minutes.
Typically I buy Barilla brand pastas for my family, and they do make Pastina, but it’s star shaped. 
For this soup, I prefer what I grew up on which is the teeny tiny balls.  
You can find these from such brands as Ronzoni, Prince, Delallo, De Cecco, DaVinci and other Italian brands.   Look for Acini di pepe pasta or sometimes misspelled as Acine de pepe.  
Serve with parmesan cheese
If you want to be really authentic, put one wedge of The Laughing Cow creamy swiss cheese in the bottom of the bowl and ladle the soup over the soft cheese.  That’s how we liked it as toddlers, and how our daughter eats it in our home.   
I did a quick websearch and found this authentic recipe.  Grazie Barbara!
Here’s her translation into English.