Loretta Sebastiani

By: Loretta Sebastiani

Pasta salad or cold pasta ... however you call it, this is definitely one of the summer favorite dishes for most Italians and, I think, for many people in the world. It solves the problem of lunch or dinner when it's hot but it is a great help for cold dinners, barbecue parties and meals, buffet-style. I have been doing experiments with cold pasta and its ingredients for about 25 years and I've put together many classic or innovative recipes you can adapt to every day menus or your special invitations. All recipes are well tested and largely verified in my kitchen ;))

Let's begin with a set of rules and some tips of mine ...

Pasta salad how-to

Tortellini cold dish

Every day I receive a lot of questions on this topic. So I wrote a guideline with some tips: how to choose, cook and drain pasta, prepare the right sauce and preserve it. All this according to the Italian cuisine!

Simple sauce

Making a cold dish of pasta can be very laborious. How to simplify it for your daily family menu? prepare my sauce with tomatoes and grated bell peppers in big quantity. Freeze it in the right portions and enjoy pasta salad every day!

Common mistakes

Too little pan and water to cook pasta

Making a good pasta dish can be a very easy thing but you can complicate all for nothing. Read carefully my post to simplify everything! For example, ask yourself if the size of your pot and the volume of water are enough ;))

Here are a lot of recipe ideas according to their ingredients!

Ring-shaped ingredients

Vegetarian cold pasta with bell peppers, zucchini, tomatoes and olives

All ingredients are cut into ring. From peppers to olives to zucchini. The pasta I chose has a ring shape too. Tasty and scenic, perfect for your special get-togethers, birthday dinner menus ... !

Speck and asparagus

Short pasta topped with salami and asparagus

This recipe is great for early summer if you want to use fresh asparagus, but asparagus works well frozen too. I tested it many times and every time my guests agree with me: it is fantastic!

Artichokes and surimi crab sticks

Rotini pasta salad dressed with artichokes and fish

This dish has a real advantage: it is very fast to do because you can use ready-made ingredients. When you go back home in the evening, you have only to slice surimi, ​​open a can of artichoke hearts in brine, cook pasta and all is ready. Just the time to let it rest, 30 minutes.

Black truffle and rabbit

Summer cold dish made with emmer penne tossed with rabbit-and-truffle sauce

This is really great, I would say superb.
Select it, if you are planning a very special event ... then let me know your opinion ;))

Borlotti beans

Bowl full of legume pasta salad

This pasta unlike the previous sounds more rustic. It 's ideal for a barbecue or a garden party. In addition to beans and eggs visible in the photo its ingredients are ripe tomatoes, pickled gherkins and vegetables in oil.

Green beans and trout

Pasta salad with Italian dressing: green beans and trout

This is a real summer single course that combines the carbohydrates of pasta, protein of fish , fat of seasonings and beneficial properties of seasonal vegetables.

Buffalo mozzarella

Cold pasta dish in a rectangular platter for your summer meals

This is a fantastic dish for your special occasions made with typical Italian ingredients: buffalo mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, Porcini in oil and artichokes in oil. I'm obliged to make double portions for my guests! ;))

Octopus and beans

Cold pasta dish with octopus and beans

Another version with octopus but here I added beans too.
I created this recipe an evening when I had a special guest, lover of seafood!


Wholemeal penne pasta salad tossed with sardine sauceI make it several times in summer. My husband and I are sardine lovers and I assure you that this kind of fish marinated in citrus juice is great. But do not worry! they are not raw. After the marinade they must be cooked :-)


Pasta salad with mackerels

Do you like mackerels? They taste fantastic in pasta salad recipe too.
Follow my directions to prepare an unusual summer recipe.

Bocconcini and tomatoes

Cold pasta with bocconcini and tomatoes

Its ingredients are: wholemeal pasta, chopped tomatoes, basil, chives, olive oil and mozzarella little balls. It tastes fantastic but ... what a pity its calories ... don't make it frequently!

Quail eggs

Cold pasta recipe with quail eggs

If you look for a classic Italian recipe, this is for you. Without any surprise. Really enjoy it at all. I prepare it every time I have guests of all ages.


Mediterranean  pasta salad with tomato confit, croutons, dried fruit and olives

Its name is Mediterranean for its ingredients: taggiasca olives, fried croutons, confit tomatoes and dried fruit. It's a vegan recipe suitable for all ages. You can choose it for your summer parties without any doubt: everyone will like it!


Italian summer pasta recipe with green beans and tuna

The name is due to its colors. In fact its main ingredients are green beans and tuna in oil. Serve it as one-plate meal. Tasty and easy-to-do recipe!

Shrimps and potatoes

Pasta salad with shrimps and potatoes

Not only shrimps and potatoes but green beans and porcini mushrooms too. This cold pasta dish is ideal for your special events: astonish your guests!

Caprese style

Caprese pasta

I think I made this recipe more than fifteen years ago for the first time. It was the first pasta salad my husband and I published on our site and this recipe has been multiplied since then and its photo too ... you can find it on many sites. I do not know whether to be happy or not. I think not, after all. Guess why ... ;)
But my pasta is good, the real classic versions of Italian pasta salad.

Ravioli salad

Ravioli salad

Homemade ravioli stuffed with tuna and olives and topped with fresh tomatoes.
You'll lick your lips!
Lots of work but a lot of satisfaction too!Special dish for a special menu!

Ravioli, trout and melon

Ravioli salad with trout & melon

Have you ever tried to make ravioli salad? My husband and I really like it.
This is our first version. Have you ever tried to combine fruit with pasta? Test it ... I'm waiting for your opinion ...

Zucchini and nasturtium

Edible flowers in  pasta salad

The image is sunny ... reminds summer. Its taste? fantastic. We have nasturtium flowers in our organic garden. They are fashionable, a lot of cooks use them to decorate their dishes. They're edible too and remind capers, great!


Rotini pasta salad with octopus

Combine octopus and pasta for your summer cold pasta dishes. See also the other version with the addition of beans :-)

Salmon and artichokes in oil

Pasta salad with salmon and artichokes in oil

Another good combination for you: salmon with artichokes in oil ... hmm ... gnam, gnam ...
Do you guess? I like it very much!
Easy-to-do and tasty summer recipe!

Mediterranean, spicy

Hot pasta tossed with Mediterranean ingredients

I used chili pasta and tomatoes for this recipe: tasty and easy to do provided you like hot chili pepper!

Tomatoes and chickpeas

Healthy pasta salad with tomatoes and chickpeas

This is a proposal for your daily menus. Pulses should be eaten with pasta. The combination is perfect and healthy. Good, very good for those who love chickpeas.

Raw tomatoes

Raw tomato cold pasta

If you have ripe and firm tomatoes, this recipe will be very good. It's the easiest way to prepare a summer main dish, Italian-style.
You can easily eat it all days ... look at its calories ;)

Zucchini, shrimps and eggs

Shrimps eggs penne

In Italy we call mimosa every recipe in which yolk eggs are crumbled. This pasta dish is tasty both hot and cold. So you can find its recipe in our directory dedicated to dry pasta.