Mediterranean-Inspired Recipes: Tuna Aioli Dip and Yellowfin Tuna Pasta Salad

Introducing a Mediterranean culinary adventure with two delectable recipes perfect for summer gatherings.

Discover the Mediterranean lifestyle through these extraordinary recipes, crafted with quality ingredients and a passion for culinary excellence. Immerse yourself in the sun-kissed flavors of the region and indulge in the harmony of wholesome ingredients that define Mediterranean cuisine. Basil & Salt Magazine invites you to savor these exquisite dishes and embark on a gastronomic journey that celebrates the vibrant and healthy Mediterranean way of life.

Dive into the first recipe, a tantalizing Tuna Aioli Dip with Balsamic Drizzle, featuring premium Genova Albacore Tuna in Olive Oil. Infused with flavors of dried bay leaf, fresh rosemary, capers, anchovies, and zesty lemon juice, this dip is a match made in taste bud heaven. Pair it with an assortment of crisp, raw vegetables for a refreshing and nutritious snack that captures the essence of the Mediterranean lifestyle.

Reach for Pantry Staples. There’s no single definition of the Mediterranean Diet, but it’s high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, olive oil and seafood. By keeping your pantry stocked with canned versions of ingredients like beans and fish you can easily add them to your favorite dishes. Yellowfin Tuna Pasta Salad with Arugula Pesto and Dates, and Tuna Aioli Dip with Balsamic Drizzle are flavorful ways to bring Mediterranean flair to your dinner table.

Tuna Aioli Dip with Balsamic Drizzle

Prep time: 15-20 minutes

Cook time: 10-15 minutes

Serves 4


  • 6 ounces Genova Albacore Tuna in Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 2 anchovies
  • 1/2 lemon, juice only (about 1-1/2 tablespoons)
  • For Dipping: raw vegetables such as carrots, celery, cucumber spears, endive leaves, sliced fennel and bell pepper strips


  1. Drain tuna, reserving 2 tablespoons oil.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine balsamic vinegar, bay leaf and rosemary sprig. Bring to boil and reduce until syrupy, about 1 tablespoon. Let cool slightly; discard bay leaf and rosemary sprig.
  3. In blender or food processor, process tuna and reserved oil, mayonnaise, capers, anchovies and lemon juice to make smooth dip. Transfer to flat serving bowl. Drizzle with balsamic syrup. Serve with raw vegetables.

For the main course, prepare a sensational Yellowfin Tuna Pasta Salad with Arugula Pesto and Dates. Using the finest Genova Yellowfin Tuna in Olive Oil as the star ingredient, this dish combines the richness of pine nuts, the peppery bite of arugula, and the tanginess of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Enhanced with the bright flavors of lemon zest and the earthy notes of whole-wheat orecchiette, this pasta salad is elevated to new heights. Tantalize your taste buds with sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, dill, and parsley for an explosion of Mediterranean flavors in every bite.

Add Seafood. Eating more seafood is one of the leading principles of the Mediterranean Diet. Tuna salad is one tried-and-true dish that can help incorporate fish into your menu. To make it more nutritious, opt for tuna that’s packed in extra-virgin olive oil, so you don’t have to add much mayo to the base. For example, Genova Premium Tuna provides a tasteful addition to recipes and is high in protein, a great source of omega-3s and has a uniquely rich and savory flavor that offers a taste of the Mediterranean in every bite.

Yellowfin Tuna Pasta Salad with Arugula Pesto and Dates 

Prep time: 20-30 minutes

Cook time: 20-25 minutes

Serves 4


  • 2 cans (5 ounces each) Genova Yellowfin Tuna in Olive Oil, drained
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 4 cups arugula
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus additional for garnish
  • 2 lemons, zest only
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces whole-wheat orecchiette
  • 1/2 cup jarred sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dates, pitted and quartered
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup dill, chopped
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
  2. On a sheet tray, toast pine nuts for 8-12 minutes, or until golden. Set aside to cool.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Prepare an ice water bath by filling a large bowl with cold water and ice. Stir arugula into boiling water and cook until bright green and tender, about 30 seconds. Drain arugula, immediately shock in ice water and set aside to fully drain; cover with towel. 
  4. In blender or food processor, add arugula; garlic; pine nuts; butter, if desired; Parmigiano-Reggiano; lemon zest, if desired; salt; and pepper. purée on high, incorporating olive oil to desired thickness. 
  5. Place pesto in bowl and cover tightly to avoid discoloring.
  6. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
  7. Add pasta and return to boil, stirring occasionally. Taste pasta for doneness 2 minutes earlier than package instructions. Once cooked, drain and transfer to large bowl. Do not rinse. 
  8. Add pesto gently until evenly distributed. Fold in tuna, sun-dried tomatoes, dates and olives.
  9. Divide between shallow bowls and finish with additional Parmigiano-Reggiano, dill and parsley, if desired.

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