A fresh and easy Summer Pasta Salad made with pancetta (bacon), fresh veggies and spices. The perfect dinner, lunch idea or perfect to take on a Summer Picnic!
It’s time to get the water boiling and the pasta cooking, because in my house summer and warmer weather mean pasta salad season is here! It will definitely be one of the highlights of a lot of our meals. I knew that summer was coming when I would hear “Ma, can you make pasta salad today?”
All those fresh vegetables, spices and pasta just scream summer, and I love the fact that it’s a cold dish and so easy and quick to make. You can and probably should make it ahead of time. Sometimes mine doesn’t even make it to the fridge to let those great flavours mingle for an hour or 2.
It’s great for a barbecue or a picnic, it’s tasty enough to serve to friends and family and they will definitely go back for seconds.
How to make it
In a small frying pan add chopped pancetta and a little water, cook on medium heat until the pancetta is tender and browned, but not burnt, drain on paper towel. In a large pot of boiling salted water cook bow pasta al dente, then drain (let cool completely).
In a large bowl add, the mozzarella, corn, tomatoes, celery, pancetta, salt, oregano, and mix gently.
Add pasta, fresh basil and olive oil toss gently, let sit in the fridge for 1 or 2 hours before servingToss gently before serving.
What to serve with it
Pasta salad is perfect for a family or friend get together, especially when you are having a bbq or even picnic. Serve it as a main course or even side dish, along with Burgers, corn on the cob, serve it with some Grilled Eggplant or even an Italian Frittata.
How to store it
Any leftovers should be stored in the fridge, in an air tight container. It will keep for two to three days in the fridge.
Can it be made the night before?
It will last a few of days in the fridge so yes you can make it the night before.
Do I have to use Pancetta?
If you can’t find pancetta then cubed bacon would also work. Or if you prefer you can substitute with cubed cooked ham, salami or leave it out if you wish for a meat free dinner idea.
Do you need to rinse the pasta?
The only time I rinse pasta is when I make pasta salad, usually because I don’t have time to let it cool on its own. If you prefer to let it cool on its own, then toss it with a teaspoon or two of olive oil, that way it doesn’t stick together.
The saltiness of the pancetta and the crunchiness of the corn and celery all mixed together with pasta, mozzarella and cherry tomatoes, make this dish a light and healthy choice on those hot and sunny days. Whether you are making it for one or two or sharing with friends and family.
So when someone says “can you bring a dish”? This would be the perfect idea! Get ready for summer and all that freshness. Buon Appetito!
Easy Summer Pasta Salad
- 3 cups cooked bow pasta* (321 grams)
- 1 cup fresh chopped mozzarella** (225 grams)
- 3/4 cup cooked sweet corn (131 grams)
- 10-15 cherry or grape tomatoes (halved)
- 3/4 cup cubed pancetta (or thick cut bacon) (169 grams)
- 1-2 stalk celery chopped
- 4-5 fresh basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil (40-54 grams)
*About 2 cups dried pasta.
**or fresh small balls (halved).
- In a small frying pan add chopped pancetta and 1/4 cup water, cook on medium heat until the pancetta is tender and browned, but not burnt, drain on paper towels.
- In a large pot of boiling salted water cook bow pasta al dente, then drain, and rinse in cold water or toss the drained pasta with a teaspoon of olive oil to prevent sticking (let cool completely).
- In a large bowl add, mozzarella, corn, tomatoes, celery, pancetta, salt, oregano, and mix gently, add pasta, fresh basil and olive oil toss gently, let sit in the fridge for 1 or 2 hours before serving.
- Toss gently before serving. Enjoy!
Updated from May 14, 2014.
We made this today and it was scrumptious. The grocery store didn’t have any pancetta, so we substituted soppreseta salami and pepperoni; also added a little white wine vinegar, but followed the recipe exactly otherwise. Simple and delicious … thank you!
Hi Rick, thanks so much, so glad you enjoyed it. Take care.
janet pesaturo says
Thanks for the great recipe! I am collecting interesting salad recipes, so…pinned!
Hi Janet, thank you, I hope you like it.