• 3 oz (85g) pasta shells
• oil and lemon for cooking
• salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 3 pint (150ml) French dressing
• 7 oz (200g) tin flagelot beans, rinsed and drained*
• 7 oz (200g) tin borlotti beans, rinsed and drained*
• 7 oz (200g) tin red kidney beans, rinsed and drained*
• 1 bunch spring onions, chopped diagonally
• 1 tablesp. (15ml) chopped fresh chives
• 1 tablesp. (15ml) finely chopped fresh parsley
• freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 7oz (200g) tin tuna fish, drained
• 15 small black Nicoise olives
• 1 box mustard and cress *
The cooked pasta is soaked in French dressing while it is still warm so that it absorbs extra flavour.
Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water with 1 tablesp. (15ml) oil and a slice of lemon until tender. This will take about 10 minutes.
Drain and rinse the pasta well under cold running water.
Soak the pasta in French dressing for about 30 minutes, seasoning well. Mix the pasta with the cooked beans (see below), spring onions, half the mustard and cress, half the chives and parsley and lemon juice.
Add the tuna and gently mix so as not to break up the flesh.
Pile into a serving dish and scatter over the remaining herbs, the black olives and the mustard and cress.
Last time we made this recipe we used 3 ozs (85g) dried black-eyed beans, 3 ozs (85g) dried haricot beans and 3 ozs (85g) red kidney beans, (but one could use just one type) we soaked them separately overnight in cold water. Next day we cooked each type in fresh water with a few slices of onion and carrot and a bouquet garni. They took approx. 30 minutes to cook. We didn't have mustard and cress to hand so we omitted it and the salad was still delicious but obviously it would have been even more nutritious if we had included it.