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Pasta Fredda (Classic Italian Pasta Salad)

Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 5 people


  • 1 pound/ 500 g farfalle pasta
  • 9 oz/ 250 g cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup/ 180 g green olives pitted
  • 11 oz/ 300 g mozzarella pearls or 2 mozzarella balls
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup/ 100 g marinated peppers optional (see notes)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 10-15 basil leaves


  • Cook the pasta in a large pot filled with boiling salty water, until al dente (1-2 minutes before the time indicated on the package). Drain it in a colander and return to the same pot. Add immediately the olive oil to avoid the pasta from sticking one to another. Mix every 2-3 minutes, while preparing the ingredients, in order to make it cool down faster and also as an extra prevention from sticking.
  • Halve the cherry tomatoes. If they are too large you may cut them into quarters.
  • Cut the mozzarella pearls into quarters. If you are using large balls, dice them.
  • Slice each olive into 3-4 pieces, depending on its size.
  • Halve the garlic cloves. Wash and dry the basil leaves.
  • If using marinated peppers, chop them finely.
  • When the pasta is not hot any more, add all the prepared ingredients. Mix very well and cover with a lid. Refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours before eating.


  • Do not add the ingredients to the hot pasta! Make sure the pasta has cooled down for 15-20 minutes, mixing it every now and then. If you add the ingredients right away, they might get cooked which will ruin the dish.
  • To make quick marinated peppers: clean and slice lengthwise 1 red or yellow bell pepper. Heat 1/2 cup or 120 ml white vinegar, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon sugar in a small saucepan. When the mixture starts boiling, cook the pepper slices in it for 3-4 minutes until slightly softened. Remove from the liquid and let cool and dry. Chop into small pieces before adding to the pasta salad.
  • This pasta is even better on the next day. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days, covered.