Insalata di pasta calamarata

Vegetarian pasta salad  Our original home cooking

This is an extraordinary, new and tasty pasta salad (in Italian insalata di pasta). It's a vegetarian recipe that observes the principle of Mediterranean diet too. Every guest of mine has alwyas liked it very much! You'll need; bell peppers, trumpet zucchini, capers, olives, cherry tomatoes in oil, herbs and good-quality extra virgin olive oil. All the ingredients are cut into rings: it's nice-to-see too!

Pasta salad with ring-shaped ingredients, the photo shows calamarata pasta combined with bell pepper rings, black olive slices, courgette (zucchini) slices
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Pasta salad with ring-shaped ingredients

Ingredients / Serves 4

  • 300g (10 1/2 ounces) calamarata pasta
  • 300g (10 1/2 ounces) pointed red sweet peppers
  • 300g (10 1/2 ounces) trumpet courgettes (zucchini)
  • 100g (3 1/2 ounces) fresh young onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon capers in vinegar
  • 100g (3 1/2 ounces) dried cherry tomatoes in olive oil
  • 80g (2.8 ounces) stoned black olives
  • 2 tablespoons dried chives
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Time:
    preparation: 30 minutes
    cooking: 50 minutes
    total: 1 h 20 minutes
  • Difficulty:
    easy recipe
  • How many calories in a serving?
    Calories: 441 (kcal) 23 % GDA (*)- 1843 (kJ)
    Protein: 10.7 (g) 22 % GDA
    Total fat: 16.4 (g) 24 % GDA
    Total carbohydrate: 66.7 (g) 25 % GDA
    Sugars: 10.3 (g) 12 % GDA

Look at infographic of nutrition facts

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Vegetarian pasta salad How-To

Preparation and cooking

  • - Prepare bell peppers.
    Cut off their ends and halve crossways to remove their seeds better.
    Run under cold water and pat dry with absorbent kitchen paper.
    Then cut crossways into slices not too thin.
    Put half the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan and add half the onion and sweet pepper rings.
    Sauté on low heat stirring frequently, afew minutes.
    Then add boiling stock or simple hot water (about 200ml - 6 3/4 fluid ounces) and half the aromatic herbs.
    Season to taste with salt and continue cooking on medium heat until all the cooking juice is well reduced.
    You will need about 15 minutes.
    Don't cook too much bell peppers to avoid they become squashy.
  • - Prepare courgettes (zucchini).
    Cut off courgette ends and wash accurately.
    Cut them crossways into slices not too thin and put these slices in a non-stick frying pan together with the remaining olive oil and onions.
    Sauté on low heat for a few minutes stirring frequently and then cover with boiling vegetable stock or simple hot water.
    Add the remaining aromatic herbs and capers.
    Season to taste with salt and continue cooking on medium heat until cooking juice is well reduced, stirring now and then.
    You will need about 15 minutes.
    Don't cook too much if you like crisp courgettes.
  • - Cook pasta.
    Meanwhile cook pasta in abundant salt water until al dente stage.
    Slice the olives crossways.
  • - The last step.
    Drain pasta and run under cold water in order to stop cooking, drain again.
    Transfer pasta into a large bowl.
    Add cherry tomatoes, sweet peppers, black olives and courgettes.
    Stir and taste to determine if the dish needs added salt.

Just before serving

  • - Let your pasta salad rest for at least an hour before serving.



  • - More details on the ingredients to have the best result.
    The pasta we used is called calamarata in Italy for its shape that remembers the squid rings (in Italian squids are called calamari).
    Sweet peppers are pointed peppers I cut into rings easily.
    Besides I chose trumpet courgettes (zucchini). Don't worry if you don't find them, you can substitute trumpet courgettes with young, little courgettes.
    You will also need black olives, dried cherry tomatoes preserved in oil, young fresh onions, aromatic herbs (chives, parsley) and good-quality olive oil.
  • - You can add seasoned ricotta cheese cut into flakes just before serving. Even in this case it is a typical vegetarian pasta dish!
  • - It is tasty even the day after.

Menu planning

  • - Serve it at Sunday lunch or as a course in a complete menu for a celebration party if you want to astonish your guests. In the last case it serves more people (6 - 8 servings).

Useful links for this recipe

Healthy eating

  • - This pasta salad is a healthy, low fat recipe. It's a vegetarian pasta dish.
  • - If you decide to prepare this vegetarian pasta dish for your family menu remember to complete your meal with fresh seasonal vegetable and fruit if you are still hungry.
    I remember pasta should be eaten preferably at lunch.
    Here are the doses per head: 70g (2 1/2 ounces) pasta, a pointed sweet pepper, 70g (2 1/2 ounces) courgettes (zucchini), a little onion, 1 teaspoon capers, 25g (1 ounce) cherry tomatoes in oil, 20g (3/4 oounce) black olives, aromatic herbs and less than two teaspoons olive oil.
  • - To observe the principles of Medietranean diet fully, remember to use wholemeal pasta.


What's the right wine for " Vegetarian pasta salad "?

Our suggestion is Corvo Bianco, a white wine from Sicily. It's fresh and fruity. If you prefer red wines you can choose Bardolino (red wine of Veneto - Italy) or Lambrusco (red wine of Emilia - Romagna)