The last of our ‘salad bar night’ recipes from the Sharpe’s house this month, this dish, as listed in both our James Family cookbook and my own “Missouri to Maui” collection, comes from a first-cousin of mama’s. Maude states in the recipe that she “carries this in” to many family and church functions and it is always a hit; I think you will find it most satisfying also if you give it a try!
You must use the best quality albacore tuna you can lay hands on and find the smallest and most tender canned peas available. I cut the celery in this dish in very thin slices and mince the onion well. The many textures of this salad are so enticing and you don’t want to have everything in it cut the same size; get creative with your chopping for the prettiest presentation!
Two things make this salad a winner: the taste of ample chopped onion is one so don’t skimp on the onion, and the evaporated milk which is the ‘secret ingredient’ in the dressing. The dressing is thin but it thickens nicely when you chill the salad well before serving. Simple macaroni, fresh veggies, and canned tuna in a salad: who knew!?!? Maude did, and now we do too! It’s a definite keeper, y’all!
Shell Macaroni Tuna & Pea Salad
For the salad:
1-(8-oz.) pkg. small seashell macaroni
1-(12oz) can albacore tuna drained and flaked
1 small can English peas, drained
2 stalks celery, sliced thinly
1/2 large onion, chopped fine
For the dressing:
1 small can evaporated milk
1/2 cup Hellman’s mayonnaise
1/2 T. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
Celery seed, to taste, option
Directions Cook macaroni until done. Drain and set in fridge to chill. Mix evaporated milk, mayonnaise, salt and pepper in medium bowl, whisking well to blend. Combine macaroni, tuna, celery, and onion in large bowl, toss to distribute ingredients; add dressing, peas and the celery seed if using and blend thoroughly. Serve well chilled.