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Saturday, March 2, 2024

Lemony Spring Pasta Salad with Olives, Artichokes, and Bacon

Everybody wants a scrumptious spring pasta salad of their repertoire. There’s one thing a couple of colourful, packable pasta that simply tastes like seaside days and picnics within the park. That mentioned, the household reunion-style macaroni salad, made with mayo and extremely questionable when served at room temperature, is a tough cross for me. Fortunately, at the moment’s recipe is a far cry—made with inexperienced olives, artichoke hearts, lemons, and tons of shaved parm, it’s received that zesty, briny, salty punch that elevates this to summer dinner party standing. Learn on to see how this very inexperienced, spring pasta salad comes collectively, plus just a few suggestions for pasta salad success.

My inspiration for this pasta salad really got here from one in all my favourite pizzas at Gjelina, IMHO one of the best Italian spot in LA. It’s received inexperienced olives, guanciale (an Italian cured meat), and chiles for warmth, and the combo is completely addictive. I wished to attain that very same taste profile in pasta type, swapping in crispy crumbled bacon for the guanciale and parmesan as a substitute of the mozzarella. The aim? To get that scrumptious mixture of flavors in each single excellent chew.

How to make this spring pasta salad

A recipe that’s made for breezy warm weather gatherings should be just as breezy to make, so I created this pasta salad to be super easy—you can toss it together in less than 30 minutes.

First, I put my pasta water on to boil, since I want to cook the pasta and let it cool down a bit before I add it to the rest of our ingredients.

While the pasta is cooking, I make the bright zingy dressing by adding parsley, lemon zest and juice, shallot, garlic, and olive oil to a blender. I thin it a little with hot water, then blend it up and store in a mason jar until I’m ready to use it.

I grab the biggest serving bowl I’ve got, add my cooked and drained pasta, then toss in our green olives, artichokes, crumbled bacon, and pistachios (that crunch is absolutely essential.)

Next I drizzle on a big pour of our green dressing along with some salt and pepper, toss it around until each piece of pasta is lightly coated, then add handfuls of arugula and a ridiculous amount of shaved parmesan. Toss it again, add as much heat with red pepper flakes as you like, and it’s ready to roll.

Bring it to a potluck or picnic

I often get questions from you guys about what dishes to bring to a gathering, and this pasta salad happens to make the perfect potluck aspect.

For one, it may be made utterly prematurely, and holds up superbly when transported. Again in my catering days, I shortly discovered which dishes style simply nearly as good after sitting on a buffet for an hour, versus people who received unhappy and wilty. Pasta salads proved to be one of many heartier choices, and the substances on this one actually lend themselves to hanging out for awhile.

That is additionally a very versatile dish that’s a crowd pleaser with youngsters and adults alike. I made it for a pool celebration final weekend, and everybody went again for seconds and took house leftovers. It’s filled with veggies and makes a scrumptious aspect dish with grilled hen or steak, but it surely’s additionally filling sufficient to face in as a fundamental course.

Tips for success

Here are a few things to know that will make this recipe a home run.

What to serve with this spring pasta salad

For a simple weeknight dinner, this pasta salad is hearty enough to be a one-dish meal—pair with a glass of chilled rosé and it’s officially spring.

For a gathering, I love to grill some marinated chicken, salmon, or steak, and serve this alongside. Since it’s packed with veggies and pasta, it’s the only side dish you need.

How to store leftovers

I can say from experience that this pasta salad is just as delicious the next day—just store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge, and serve cold or room temp.

Ideas for swaps and modifications

This pasta salad is the perfect dish for riffing based on what’s in season and your personal preference. A few ideas:

  • Make it vegetarian by omitting the bacon.
  • Turn it into an antipasto salad by adding those tiny balls of fresh mozzarella.
  • Swap in any green veggies for the olives and artichokes—blanched sugar snap peas, grilled zucchini, or lightly cooked broccoli would all be delicious additions.
  • You can use any short pasta—gemelli, fusilli, or even penne all work great in this dish.

Other spring pasta salads you’ll love:

We obviously love warm weather pasta salads around here, and these are a few other favorites from our archives:

Green Goddess Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad with Feta and Tahini Dressing

Grilled Veggie Pasta Salad

Scroll on for the recipe, and in the event you make this spring pasta salad, you should definitely go away a ranking and remark under.


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Pack this vivid and zesty spring pasta salad for each picnic all season. Tremendous simple to toss collectively, it’s bursting with greens and a lot taste.

  • 1 pound cavatappi or different curly quick pasta, cooked based on package deal instructions
  • 1/2 cup inexperienced olives, halved (I purchase pitted Castelvetrano or Cerignola)
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted and salted pistachios
  • 23 strips crispy bacon, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup Artichoke hearts, quartered
  • Spring Inexperienced Dressing (under)
  • 2 cups arugula
  • Kosher salt and freshly floor black pepper
  • purple pepper flakes, to style
  • a lot of freshly grated parmesan, to style

For the inexperienced dressing:

  • 1/2 bunch parsley
  • 2 lemons, zest and juice
  • 1/2 shallot
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp scorching water
  • Salt and pepper

  1. First make the dressing by combining all substances in a blender. Retailer in a mason jar within the fridge till prepared to make use of.
  2. Add the cooked pasta to a big serving bowl.
  3. Add the olives, pistachios, bacon, artichoke hearts, and an enormous drizzle of the dressing. 
  4. Toss nicely to mix—add extra dressing if wanted.
  5. Add the arugula, purple pepper flakes, and parmesan. Give it a light-weight toss, style for seasoning.
  6. Serve, passing extra purple pepper flakes and parmesan on the desk.


  • You may make this pasta salad forward—mix all substances and retailer within the fridge till able to serve.
  • Use any quick pasta you want: gemelli, fusilli, cavatappi, or penne all work nice.
  • Be at liberty to make it vegetarian by omitting the bacon.
  • Double or triple the recipe to serve a crowd.
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook dinner Time: 10
  • Class: pasta, aspect dish

Key phrases: spring pasta salad, simple aspect dish, potluck aspect

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