Tuna packed in olive oil is more flavorful than tuna packed in water. If you can find it packed in oil, use that but don't drain it. If you have tuna packed in water, drain it, and add 2 to 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
For the pasta:
- 1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 quart water
For the salad:
- 1/2 cup chopped green onion, including green onion greens
- 1 cup chopped red, orange, or yellow bell pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 (5-ounce) cans tuna, packed in olive oil (if it's packed in water, drain and add 2 to 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil)
- 2 stalks celery, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4-1/3 a head lettuce (preferably iceberg lettuce), sliced first and roughly chopped into 2 inch long strips
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise (more to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
- Fresh ground pepper
1 Cook the macaroni: In a saucepan, add 1 cup of elbow macaroni to 1 quart of boiling water with an added teaspoon of salt. Cook at a rolling boil uncovered for about 10 minutes until the macaroni is just a little more cooked than al dente.
Remove from heat, drain, and rinse with cold water.
2 Prep the salad ingredients: While the macaroni is cooking, assemble the other ingredients. In a large bowl mix the green onion, bell peppers, parsley, tuna, celery and lemon.
3 Combine the salad ingredients: Add the cooked and drained macaroni. Fold in the mayonnaise until well mixed. Add the paprika. Add fresh ground pepper to taste. (At this point you can make ahead and chill.)
4 Serve: Fold in the lettuce gently and serve. The salad does not make good leftovers as the lettuce will eventually get soggy.