“You need to bring the linguine salad to the BBQ. The girls are requesting it again.” My mom has heard this request countless times over the years. She makes the most requested Italian pasta salad. And while it’s a huge salad there aren’t a whole lot of leftovers at the end of the parties.
My mom and dad have been bringing this salad to BBQs for as long as I can remember! We refer to it as linguine salad, since the pasta in the original recipe was linguine. However, over the years, my parents have experimented a little and realized that using rotini noodles help the sauce stick better to the pasta.
How to Make Italian Pasta Salad
My parents’ friend’s mother created this recipe even before I was born. When I asked for it recently to make for a BBQ I will be attending, I realized there were many questions in the recipe. How much onion? What size onion? How many tomatoes? My parent’s answers – “until it looks right.” It is one of those good ol’ recipes without much information. Therefore, my husband and I tried our best to recreate it and measure the veggies out for you.
This is a very easy recipe to make. And honestly not too time consuming. The longest cooking time is really waiting for so much water to boil. While you wait for the water to boil, you can clean and chop the vegetables.
Calculating the Recipe
We chopped one large white onion and added about ¾ of it to the pasta when it was time. We didn’t want to overpower the salad with onions. You can put in a handful of chopped onions, stir it around and see if it looks like they are mixed evenly. Add in onions until it looks even throughout. You want to make sure every spoonful placed onto a plate has the fresh veggies.
We used one whole green pepper chopped. We also used one medium size cucumber chopped.
You will need to seed the tomatoes. My husband had never done this before. He wasn’t sure what I was doing. As he saw it, I was taking all the tomato away and just using the skin. You will want to remove the inner part of the tomato and be left with the outer shell. If you have never done this before, the best way to do this is to cut the tomato in half. Then, using a spoon scoop out all the seeds. Now you just have the outer layer of tomatoes. You can now discard all the seeds and just chop up the outer layer of the tomato for the salad.
Putting the Salad Together
Once the pasta has cooked, drain it and put the pasta into a large mixing bowl. Wait about 5 minutes for it to cool down a little.
Now you can start to add the dressings and salad supreme. This will help to cool the pasta down. Once that is mixed together, add in the vegetables as stated above.
Once everything is mixed together place it in the refrigerator overnight.
The next day, your salad is ready to serve at your party and you don’t have to worry about doing any work on party day!
We hope you enjoy it as much as many others have over the last 40 years!
Most Requested Italian Pasta Salad
- 2 lbs Rotini pasta noodles Cook noodles until Al Dante
- 16 oz Zesty Italian dressing
- 8 oz Catalina dressing
- 6 Tbs McCormick Salad Supreme
- 3/4 lg White onion chopped
- 1 Green pepper chopped
- 1 Cucumber chopped
- 4 Tomatoes seeded and chopped
- Onion salt to taste
- Garlic salt to taste
- Cook noodles until Al Dante
- Pour noodles into a large bowl and let cool for 5 minutes
- Pour salad dressings over the pasta
- Add in McCormick Salad Supreme
- Mix ingredients together
- Add in onions and stir. I like to stir it up to make sure there are onions evenly mixed throughout. If you need to add more onions you can do so at this time
- Stir in green pepper, cucumber and tomatoes
- Mix in onion salt and garlic salt to taste. Do not go too heavy as this will marinate overnight and the flavors will come through better once it is cold.
- Once everything is mixed together, cover and refrigerate overnight