As a kid, my family regularly enjoyed tuna salad with our Sunday lunches—probably because it could sit and marinate while my mom and aunt Raffy made other dishes for our big Sunday supper. My mom would then use the leftovers in sandwiches throughout the week, packing them up for picnic or poolside snacks and school lunches. When I opened my restaurant in Vegas, I wanted to elevate those familiar, favorite tastes to an elegant open-faced version. I just love the way the toasted English muffins soak up all the flavors in their nooks while still staying light and crispy. And the cheesy white-bean spread—a perfect counterpoint to the zesty tuna mixture—is so creamy that you’ll never miss the mayo, which my family never used.

  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp. grated lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (6.7-ounce) jar olive-oil packed tuna, drained and flaked
  • 2 celery stalks with leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
  • 1 Tbsp. capers, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 English muffins, toasted
  • ¼ cup baby arugula


In a food processor, combine beans, mascarpone, salt, and lemon zest, and process for 30 seconds, until pureed. With machine running, add lemon juice and olive oil, and continue to process until smooth, about another 30 seconds. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together tuna, chopped celery stalks and leaves, sun-dried tomatoes, capers, parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

Spread 2 Tbsp. of white bean spread onto each English muffin half. Arrange a few arugula leaves on spread and top with 2 Tbsp. of tuna salad and a drizzle of olive oil.

Recipe Reprinted from Giada’s Italy, © 2018 by GDL Foods Inc. Photographs by Aubrie Pick. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.


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