This entry is also available in: Español
This mediterranean pasta salad is one of our favourites at home in summer season. The vegetables are so flavoured and also very cheap that is easy to fall in love with saladas like this. Here in Italy people is so used to buy and cook seasonal food, specially in summer. Pasta salads are the most consumed in this season and you can see them often offered in restaurants and as a take away lunch every day. They’re called pasta fredda and there are a lot of versions with all kind of vegetables, charcuteries, cheese and other ingredients.
If you’re gluten intolerant, make your own version of pasta salad using a gluten-free pasta, just remember gluten free pasta doesn’t stay as soft as regular pasta for a long time after being cooked. I strongly recommend you serve and consume this pasta salad at room temperature right after preparing it.
You will need to make this mediterranean pasta salad:
- Pasta – I love fusilli, they’re small and fun!
- Fresh tomatoes – cherry ones are pretty and very sweet in season, but you can also add diced ripe tomatoes.
- Cucumbers – Add a nice fresh kick to the salad.
- Red onions – Are sweeter so this is my first option but you can add also white ones or anything you have in hand.
- Bell peppers – In summer the bell peppers are delicious! Don’t skip them, add any kind you have available but for a colorful plate you better use at least of different color.
- Ricotta salata – Salty ricotta is very easy to find here in Italy. This cheese is a dry version of the traditional ricotta (which is more fresh). You can replace the ricotta with Feta cheese if you want.
What Dressing is the Best for this Pasta Salad?
I like to go as simple as I can. So, the traditional olive oil (extra virgin off) + vinegar + lemon + sweet + any herb you prefer is my recipe to go. Sometimes I change the white vinegar for balsamic vinegar, that’s up to you. My recommendation is just to avoid store bought vinaigrettes. Si so easy to make your own vinaigrette at home in just a few minutes!
Ready in 1, 2, 3!
- Pasta: Cook pasta to al dente and toss it onto a bowl with a bit of olive oil to prevent sticking.
- Dress: Shake the ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and add to the pasta.
- Mix: Place all vegetables over the pasta and drizzle with dressing. Mix well to combine.
Mediterranean pasta salad
- 300 gr fusilli pasta
- 200 gr diced bell peppers
- 200 gr cherry tomatoes -halved
- 100 gr red onion - peeled and thinly sliced
- 150 gr cucumber - sliced
- 80 gr salty ricotta - or Feta cheese (crumbled)
- 30 gr extra virgin olive oil
- 30 ml white vinegar
- 1/2 tsp dry oregano
- 1/2 tsp chili flakes
- 1/2 lemon -juice
- fresh basil leaves
- salt & pepper
- Cook the pasta al dente in a large stockpot according to package instructions. Drain and transfer to a bowl, add 1 tsp of olive oil and mix well. Let it reach room temperature.
- Combine olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, vinegar, honey and salt and pepper in a jar with a tight fitting lid then shake vigorously to combine.
- Add the vegetables and the rest of ingredients to the bowl and drizzle the vinaigrette. Toss to coat. Serve garnished with basil leaves.