Chef Geoffrey Zakarian showcases his Mediterranean roots with this fresh pasta salad recipe which features premium tuna from his latest partner, Genova. The key to the recipe, he tells Yahoo Life, is the "magic pesto." The classic nutty sauce is known for its bright green color which Zakarian says is acheived by blanching (a technique involving boiling water, followed by ice water) the greens first. Watch the video above for more tips and the full recipe.
GEOFFREY ZAKARIAN: I am very excited to show you one delicious Genova yellowfin tuna pasta salad with arugula, pesto, and dates that will transport you to my favorite place in the world, the Mediterranean.
My mom was a great cook. So when I went to France in my early 20s, the French Mediterranean and South of France and Italy, all that food just resonated with me. It's the taste I remember from my childhood. Exercise is very important. But if you exercise and don't eat right, it's not going to matter. That's why I love to cook with these ingredients, and I love to incorporate all my meals. Almost all of them are Mediterranean in style and brand.
So basically, what I'm going to do is, we're going to make the arugula pesto. If you want to keep it extra green, you have to blanch it in very salted water, boiling. I'm going to drop it in. You're going to count to 10. Put it in ice water, and put it in a food prep machine. Then I'm going to add the basics of pesto, which are pine nuts, a nice, sharp cheese, a little bit of lemon zest, a touch of butter, a clove of garlic, and then a very generous [? mock ?] of olive oil.
We're just going to pulse this up. When it's finished, what it's going to look like is this. And I want you to take a look at how beautifully green that is. That is what a pesto is supposed to look like. So pasta, any kind of pasta. I love using this whole wheat pasta right here, [INAUDIBLE] orecchiette, "little ears." Basically, that's what it means.
And to that, I'm going to add my beautiful albacore tuna. I partnered with an incredible company, Genova Premium Tuna, to offer food lovers a complimentary meal kit, featuring my recipe, some olives, sun-dried tomatoes here in their oil, dried slivered dates, and some dried parsley and dried dill.
Then, that magic pesto. Be generous with the pesto. Really important. And we are just going to toss this. Look how delicious this looks. Fresh, simple, great ingredients. Great protein, like Genova Premium Tuna. This is how I want to eat the rest of my life.