Pasta salad is a cold dish you can make some hours in advance, chill until serving and preserve about a couple of days. It tastes fantastic and often smells fantastic if you use the right ingredients.
You can make it for a picnic, an outdoor barbecue party, a buffet for a celebration party (in every season) … but you can choose it for your daily lunch or dinner in summer too.
What are the rules to make a tasty pasta salad according to the Italian style?
Pasta salad How-To
- 1) Choose pasta. Prefer short pasta for the best result. I'm testing some recipes with long pasta too. As soon as I have the right doses my husband and I’ll publish them. In the last years I created pasta salad with ravioli (filled pasta) too. Browse our directory (look at our breadcrumbs under navigation bar).
Choose good-quality pasta so you’re sure it can’t overcook and become sticky before the end of cooking time.
- 3) Draining pasta is the most important step. Drain pasta and run under cold water in order to stop cooking and remove the excess of starch that can make your pasta sticky. Stir it while it is under cold water. Drain it again.
Someone use to drain pasta and then plunge it in a large bowl full of cold water with ice. Then they drain pasta for the second time.
Someone pat dry cooked pasta using clean cloth and arranging it in a broad pattern. I have not this habit. Besides it’s not practical when I need to prepare a big quantity of pasta.
Some chefs say it is wrong to run pasta under cold water. I agree with them only for particular recipes. So you have to read every recipe on our website carefully and follow my directions. I have experience with pasta salad for more than 25 years ;))
- 4) Don’t let your pasta in the colander while you are preparing pasta sauce. Season it with a bit of olive oil and stir. The best thing is to prepare the sauce before cooking pasta.
- 5) Another important step is to choose the right ingredients. At first you have to choose the ingredients you prefer. You can combine vegetables with meat, fish, cheese … Your fancy is very important in this case. For example Carlo and I ate a fantastic pasta salad made with smoked swordfish and fresh strawberries.
Be careful when you add the different ingredients. For example buffalo mozzarella must be used only under specific conditions.
Add every ingredient well drained from its preserving juice or liquid to avoid some water forms on the bottom of the bowl.
- 6) My last tip. Be careful with calories, fat and sugars. Pasta salad is fantastic but it’s often rich in ingredients and its nutrition facts can increase quite. It is acceptable only when it is a rare event but if you’d like to make pasta salad often you must be careful with its ingredients and amount.
Follow these tips: use less pasta than usual (50g – 1 3/4 ounces), add a lot of vegetables that fill the pot but don’t cause damage, avoid too much vegetables in oil and prefer fresh vegetables …
- 7) How to preserve pasta salad? You can prepare it some hours in advance and chill until serving but remember to bring it to room temperature.