This recipe was inspired by a visit to the pristine waterfalls and plunge pools of Maguk, in Kakadu – the perfect spot for a picnic with this easy one-bowl salad.
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp capers (I like to use small capers for this)
- ½ red chilli, finely diced (or substitute pepper or pepper berry)
- 1 generous tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ⅓ cup semi-dried tomatoes, halved
- 80 g green olives, roughly torn, pit removed
- ½ punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
- 425 g canned tuna in oil, drained
- 2 cups cooked and cooled pasta shells (see Notes)
- 1 large handful basil
- Salt and pepper
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. Place eggs in a saucepan of water and bring to the boil. Once boiling, cook for 3 minutes (see Note), chill under running water then peel them.
2. In a large bowl mash the soft-boiled eggs with the capers. Add the chilli, mustard, vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper. Combine and then add the olive oil.
3. Add the semi-dried tomatoes, olives, cherry tomatoes, tuna, pasta and basil and mix until everything is coated in the dressing. Best served at room temperature.
• When cooking the pasta, toss with half a tablespoon of olive oil after draining, to prevent the shells sticking together.
• Don’t overcook the eggs – you want them par-cooked so they are still soft in the centre. It’s the secret to the creamy sauce.
• The sauce is also great served over fish.
• A teaspoon of fried and ground bush tomato is a great addition to the sauce, for extra depth of flavour.