Summer pasta salad

Summer pasta salad

Fresh, tasty and healthy: this summer pasta salad will be your go-to recipe to freshen up your hot days.

Pasta salad is very common in Italy in the summer. For one it is a quick way to make a tasty dish, in addition it is filled with a lot of good stuff: mainly vegetables. You can add some protein like tuna or boiled eggs. Some add baked ham or cheese, be it mozzarella, feta or parmigiano.

The great thing about this dish is that you can prepare it in advance and have it ready for the week, when you’ll have less time to cook. This summer pasta salad is also a great idea for lunchboxes and picnics (on the beach!)

Summer pasta salad variations: gluten free and vegan

Making this dish gluten free cannot be easier, swap regular pasta with your favorite gluten free pasta and you’re good to go. Try lentils pasta to add some more protein to your meal. Making it vegan is even simpler! Add tomatoes, capers, sweet corn, olives or every vegetable you like and skip the tuna.

Try using grilled vegetables such as zucchini, bell peppers and eggplants. With some basil and extra virgin olive oil you’ll enjoy a super tasty pasta salad.

To add more protein to this dish, make it vegan and reduce your consumption of animal protein you can add boiled chickpeas or garbanzo beans. Chickpeas goes well with grilled eggplants.

You can also prepare pasta with the same rice salad mix you would you for rice salads.

The one incredible secret you don’t know about pasta

Pasta salad keeps a secret that many people do not know. Your microbiome will thank you for eating it. Actually the reason for that is Fibers. Surprisingly when pasta is cooked and then cooled down, part of the carbohydrates inside it change.  Thanks to the temperature changes, carbs become resistant starches (AKA Fibers) that will feed the good bacteria in your microbiome. Additionally, if you reheat the pasta those starches will increase even more.

Meal prep tip

A great way to have all you need ready to enjoy a pasta salad during the week requires only a small effort. You can actually boil pasta on the weekend, then sprinkle some extra virgin olive oil, toss to coat the pasta evenly and cover it or keep it in an airtight container in the fridge. Then you can prep your grilled veggies and keep them separated too in containers in the fridge. This way you can have different pasta salad all week long and not worry about something going bad.

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 380gr of pasta
  • 3 large tomatoes
  • 1 tbs of capers
  • 2 tbs olives  (you can use green black, greek olives, whichever you have on hand or prefer)
  • 3oz can tuna
  • basil or oregano to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste

How to prepare a basic summer pasta salad

Step 1

Boil the pasta according to the direction on the package, or follow my tips on how to boil pasta.

Step 2

While the pasta is cooking take a large bowl and add the tomatoes cut into cubes. Add the capers, slices olives and the tuna. Here I’m not washing my capers because they’re made with a high quality sea salt from Sicily and, I prefer to use that salt to season the pasta and reduce or skip added salt altogether.

Pasta salad with tomatoes and capers

Step 3

Add the tuna and olive oil, salt and pepper and mix well.

Pasta salad with tuna

Step 4

Drain the pasta and cool it with cold water and add it to the mixture.

Mix well, and serve or keep in the refrigerator for a day.

TIP: If you use fresh tomatoes the seasoning in the bowl will become very watery the more it rests. Do not keep it too long before consuming.  If you want to prepare it in advance, remember to add the tomatoes only minutes before serving it.