Any Italian guy who's worth his weight in gold (neck-chains, that is) will tell you that his mother's meatballs are the best. In my mother's case this is really true, but I'm not going to give you her recipe for meatballs. Ya know why? Cause you'd screw it up and then blame my mother, you ungrateful...hey, don't get me started! I will, however, give you her equation for tuna salad. It's an easy dish. The only trouble you could have is getting the wrong mixture of vinegar, oil and lemon - in which case ...poof! You'll end up like my Uncle Joey after he started his car that one curious morning. Anyway, the tuna fish can be replaced by shrimp or squid, but I prefer tuna cause I'm a dolphin killer. And hey, if you screw it up, don't go blaming my mother. The woman's a saint, so get off her back.

* 3 6oz. cans of tuna packed in water (Italian tuna is better, but let's keep it simple)
* 1/2 bunch of parsley
* olive oil
* red wine vinegar
* 1 lemon
* black pepper

* 1 large tomato
* red onion
* celery
* green olives
* red pepper (hot))
* 1/2 clove garlic (finely chopped or mashed)

Drain tuna put in bowl (duh)
Chop parsley
These aren't in the absolutely necessary ingredients category, but
do yourself a favor and finely chop a slice of red onion,
and dice up a really good, red tomato.
Mix together
Add olive oil, red wine vinegar and lemon to taste
Add pepper
Serve cold

The optional ingredients are listed in order of importance. The quantity of each of these can vary according to taste, just be careful with the garlic. My mother says adding all of them will give the dish the true Italian essence that it deserves (more of a marinated garden salad flavor). But if that's too much work for you, then please, save her some trouble by taking a shoe and giving yourself a good thunk on the back of the head.

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