Pasta Salad

Easy Italian Pasta Salad

When the weather is nice out, it's a great time to fire up your grill! One of the best side dishes for a “Grill and Chill” day is a classic pasta salad. Pasta salad is one of those dishes that’s really easy to put together, and even easier to customize to your specific tastes and preferences.

    About Pasta Salad

    The pasta salad that we’re familiar with today, most probably originates from hot and cold versions of “Macaroni Salad”. Macaroni salad as we know it today is slightly different, instead of using oils and vinegars it’s served with mayonnaise and cream sauces as the base similar to potato salad. Typically, the vegetables, spices and herbs included usually varied depending on the culture or region where it was being made.

    While the history of pasta salad is not clearly defined, the first recipe published in The New York Times was in the 1960s. This dish grew in popularity during this time period because it was super simple to make and very economical. It was also a great way to utilize leftover pasta!

    Since then, pasta salad and traditional salads including pasta have only risen in popularity around the world and especially in America.

    Pasta Salad 1


    • One box of Dagostino Rotini Pasta (or any of our shaped pastas)
    • 1 cup of peeled and chopped cucumber
    • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes cut into halves
    • 1 cup of feta cheese crumbled
    • 1 can of sliced black olives (drained)
    • 1/4 cup of red onion diced
    • ½ -1 cup of your favorite Italian dressing


    1. Place a large pot of water on high heat and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, add your pasta and salt. Cook until al dente. Once the pasta has reached al dente rinse with cold water to prevent further cooking.
    2. Combine all ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Add your italian salad dressing slowly, starting with ½ cup and adding until you reach your desired consistency.
    3. Serve at room temp or place in the fridge for 2-5 hours until chilled. Perfect dish for a hot day!
    4. You can enjoy this vegetarian version of the recipe or add sliced salami or grilled Italian sausage to it!
    Pasta Salad 2

    Fun Additions to Pasta Salad

    One of the best parts of this dish is the ability to customize it to your favorite flavor profiles.

    With the adding or substituting of certain ingredients, you can tailor this dish to compliment almost any meal perfectly. 

    • Consider making a homemade Italian dressing for a more authentic flavor.
    • Instead of Italian dressing, try pesto sauce! This easy Pesto Pasta Salad recipe is the perfect quick and tasty side dish! Made with flavorful pesto, Dagostino Rotini Pasta, crumbled feta cheese, and bright sun-dried tomatoes, this great recipe will be a hit at any cookout
    • Add grated Parmesan or fresh mozzarella balls for a new Italian take on this dish.
    • Use seasonal veggies like in our Bacon and Brussels Sprouts pasta salad.
    • For a southern kick, add red pepper flakes and hot sausage!
    • Add lemon juice and grilled shrimp for a great seafood flavor profile.
    Pasta Salad 3

    About Dagostino Handmade Pasta

    From Lemons to Premium Pasta

    Our story started with lemon farmers in Sicily. In the early 19th century lemons would go on long voyages from Sicily to New Orleans, usually taking around 100 days. These Sicilians would create settlements in New Orleans and with them came pasta.

    The Fresina Family, our founders, were some of these original lemon farmers and started creating handmade pasta in New Orleans in 1926. Since then, the Dagostino and Hayward families have continued their tradition of creating premium handmade pasta using pure semolina flour and water then cutting the pasta through bronze dies and air-drying in wooden cellars.

    Our pasta is still made the old-fashioned way, in our pasta factory, using the “delicate” method developed centuries ago. Small quantities of pasta are extruded through bronze, carefully looped over wooden rods, straightened, and then air-dried in wooden cellars. Celebrated for its delicate texture and classic flavor, our pasta is handmade, all-natural, and preservative free, producing the best tasting pasta available on the market today.

    Our sauces are some of the most authentic sauces available outside of Italy. The sauces are handmade in small batches with a unique blend of fresh herbs and spices. Made without preservatives, each batch is carefully examined by our chefs and food scientists to ensure our sauces are the best tasting on the market.

    You will experience our time honored family treasure in every meal.