Wow Mom this Mother’s Day with an Al Fresco Dining Experience

tuna and artichoke pasta for an al fresco dining experience
(Family Features) Does your Mom enjoy stimulating experiences that connect her to the outdoors? Treat her to an al fresco meal. Inspired by the Mediterranean tradition of “eating in the open air,” al fresco dining offers passionate home cooks a fresh way to enjoy their favorite recipes outside with friends and family.
Consider these two tried-and-true al fresco tips from television personality and culinary icon Rachael Ray the next time you enjoy dinner on the deck or lunch on the patio. 
Gather the right tools: On those buggy days and nights during the warm season when you’re dining al fresco, grab a food mesh tent. Not only will it protect your food, but it also looks good and goes with a variety of table settings.
Plan the decor: When hosting friends and family, up your floral game by reaching into the garden and adding some fresh herbs – it’s aesthetically pleasing and smells delicious.
Ideal al fresco meals typically take advantage of in-season produce. They offer easy preparation, so you can focus on entertaining, and they are simple enough to eat outdoors. Skip complicated cooking steps and turn to a delicious option like Yellowfin Tuna and Artichoke Pasta, which can be served as an appetizer, side dish, or on its own as a light main course. 

Yellowfin Tuna and Artichoke Pasta 

Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray on behalf of Genova Tuna
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes with fresh artichokes (25 minutes with canned)
Servings: 4 
  • Cold water
  • 12 small, fresh artichokes or 2 cans artichoke hearts in water
  • 2 lemons
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt, to taste 
  • pepper or red pepper, to taste
  • Water
  • 2 cans (5 ounces each) Genova Yellowfin Tuna in Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into tabs
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup white wine, chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 1 pound spaghetti or linguine
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided 
  • 1 small handful fresh mint, chopped, divided 
  • 1/4 cup toasted pistachios or pine nuts, chopped 
  1. Preheat oven to 425 F. 
  2. Fill bowl with cold water and juice of one lemon. 
  3. If using fresh artichokes, trim tops of artichokes and tougher outer leaves. Using vegetable peeler or small paring knife, trim stems. Once prepped, cut fresh artichokes in half. If using canned artichokes, drain well and quarter lengthwise. 
  4. Place artichokes in lemon water. 
  5. Let soak 2-3 minutes, drain and pat dry with kitchen towel. 
  6. In casserole or baking dish, arrange artichokes and add juice of remaining lemon, quarter lemon and add lemon wedges to dish. 
  7. Add olive oil and salt and pepper, to taste. 
  8. Roast 25-30 minutes, or until tender. 
  1. Bring large pot of water to boil. 
  2. While water is coming to boil, place large skillet over medium heat and add olive oil and butter. Add garlic, red pepper, and salt to taste, and swirl 1 minute.
  3. Add white wine or stock and let reduce by half. 
  4. When water comes to boil, salt water, add pasta and cook 1 minute less than directions on the package. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water before draining. 
  5. Add artichokes to large skillet with tuna (including its oil) and gently break up with back of wooden spoon or paddle. 
  6. Add lemon juice and reserved pasta water to skillet along with drained pasta, cheese, and half the parsley, mint, and pistachios. Toss to combine.
  7. Top with remaining parsley, mint, and pistachios and serve.

To find more al fresco dining inspiration and recipe ideas, visit

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