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Pasta Salad With Cucumbers and Italian Dressing

Pasta Salad With Cucumbers and Italian Dressing

Pasta Salad With Cucumbers and Italian Dressing

This is a simple recipe for a pasta salad with cucumbers and Italian dressing. It is a great meal for the hot summer days and perfect as an alfresco lunch with a cold glass of Pinot Grigio.

cucumber salad italian dressing

 

One of the advantages of this simple pasta salad is that you can prepare it ahead and keep it cool in the fridge in an airtight box until you are ready to eat it. The amounts I used below are enough for 2-3 persons.

Which type of pasta to use?

There are literally hundreds of different types of Italian pasta. Which to use for this dish? Well, really I do not think it matters too much.

pasta salad with italian dressing and cucumbers

 

I used some Tricolore fusilli, which adds a bit of extra colour to the dish, and the swirls tend to retain the dressing, which is quite thin and can run off easily. I think it is sensible to use a pasta type that is not too large, as pasta does get bigger when cooked, as well as almost doubling in weight.

So any kinds of pasta like penne, orecchiette, rigatoni or conchiglie would all be great in this simple meal. But I am not so sure that long pasta like spaghetti or linguine would work so well.

 

zesty italian pasta salad

 

I use about 100g of pasta per person, which gives a very generous portion.

Real Italian Dressing

This recipe describes a simple traditional Italian salad dressing. We have traveled all through Italy by car and everywhere you go you will find delicious olive oil and white wine (or red wine) vinegar in bottles on the dining table.

These are used often to dunk your crusty Italian bread in, but also as a dressing for your salad, where they are, together with salt, added one by one to your salad at the table as a simple dressing. An Italian salad dressing is not pre-mixed, as it would be in France for example, where you may find a vinaigrette on the table. 

cucumber and tomato salad with italian dressing

Pasta Salad With Cucumbers and Italian Dressing

 

You may also be tempted to add some balsamic vinegar individually to your salad if you are so inclined. I like to use a Crema with ‘Aceto Balsamico di Moderna IGP’ which is a thick and reduced balsamic vinegar glaze that adds something to every salad.

 

pasta salad with balsamic dressing

Pasta salad with a few drops of balsamic reduction

 

So this is nothing like what you may expect if you are from the USA where other types of Italian dressing inventions have been born.

Which salad ingredients to include with your pasta salad?

In this simple recipe, I have just used red pepper, sweet mixed baby tomatoes from Tesco, some spring onions and cucumber. But of course, you are free to add whatever you fancy to your salad.

italian pasta salad

You may wish to sweeten with some apples or maybe add some black olives for that extra bit of salt and bitterness.

Or perhaps some sliced onion or feta cheese for example. It is up to you. But do not forget the parmesan cheese at the end!

I hope you enjoy making this simple pasta salad. If you do please let me know how you get on in the comments section below!

How to prepare a pasta salad with real Italian dressing

italian pasta salad

Pasta Salad With Cucumbers and Italian Dressing

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

This simple recipe for a pasta salad with cucumbers and a traditional real Italian dressing. Easy to make ahead and eat when you are hungry. A perfect summer salad dish.

Ingredients

  • 200g Pasta of your choice (here I used tricolore fusilli)
  • Salt
  • 2 spring onions
  • A handful of sweet mixed baby tomatoes
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 130g Cucumber
  • Parmesan (parmigiano reggiano)

Italian Dressing

  • Salt
  • Virgin Olive Oil
  • White wine vinegar

Optional

  • Balsamic vinegar glaze

Instructions

  1. Boil some water in a saucepan, add a pinch of salt and some olive oil and the pasta. Cook for the time recommended by the manufacturer (probably around 10 minutes). Then drain off and allow to cool in the fridge.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables. Wash where necessary and then slice the spring onions into rings. Half the baby tomatoes and cut the pepper into small pieces. Slice the cucumber and slice into quarters. Add them all to a bowl.
  3. When the pasta is cool, add to the bowl and mix everything well together.
  4. Add the salt, white wine vinegar and virgin olive oil to taste before tossing together to cover all the pasta in dressing. Grate some fresh parmesan on the pasta before serving.
  5. Alternatively, if you have your own oil and vinegar bottles on the table, allow your diners to add their own salt, vinegar and oil to their own bowls.

Notes

This recipe is for a real Italian dressing that you would find in Italy, rather than an American style Italian dressing.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 171Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 422mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 5g

This nutrition information was automatically calculated by Nutritionix, but may not be 100% accurate.

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