In this Italian Bowtie Pasta Salad, colorful veggies are tossed with cooked bowtie pasta, Genoa salami, Parmesan cheese and a super simple Italian dressing for the ultimate summer pasta salad! Quick and easy to whip up and incredibly fresh and delicious! This recipe yields 12 (1-cup) servings.
I have always been and will forever be a pasta salad fan.
I first had a similar version of this Italian pasta salad years ago when our girls played softball. Most weekends we were at an all-day tournaments and so us parents would contribute to a meal that would feed everyone. This was one of the many incredible dishes there that day.
After the weekend was over; tender bowtie noodles, colorful chopped veggies and Genoa salami generously coated in Italian dressing stalked my waking thoughts. And me being me, I had to recreated it or else it would haunt me until I did.
Behold, your new favorite italian pasta salad recipe.
To Make This Italian Bowtie Pasta Salad You Will Need:
for the italian vinaigrette:
- garlic – Adds distinct punchy flavor.
- italian seasoning – Use homemade or store-bought.
- red pepper flakes – Adds flavor and a subtle spicy kick.
- kosher salt – Enhances the flavor of this dressing.
- black pepper – Adds some subtle bite and flavor.
- red wine vinegar – For a touch of tangy acidity.
- olive oil – Adds richness and flavor.
for the pasta salad:
- bowtie pasta – Or any smaller pasta shape will work.
- cherry tomatoes – I personally like these so much better than grape tomatoes, but feel free to use those instead.
- yellow and orange bell peppers – Adds flavor and fresh crisp texture.
- broccoli – Cut into tiny florets just a little bit smaller than bite-size.
- Genoa salami – I use Boars Head (not sponsored) but use your favorite.
- parmesan – Try to use freshly grated or add small chunks of parmesan and pulse in your food processor.
Make The Vinaigrette:
In a glass jar or container (with a tight-fitting lid), grate in a clove of garlic and add in 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Next, pour in 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar and 6 tablespoons of good quality olive oil.
Secure the lid tightly and shake until combined. Set off to the side.
COOK THE PASTA:
Meanwhile, fill a pot with water and bring to a boil.
Once the water is at a rolling boil, add in a small palmful of sea salt and give it a stir before adding 1 pound of (dried) bowtie pasta. Follow the instructions on the package, cooking the pasta until al dente.
Once fully cooked, drain and instantly rinse with cold water. Doing this rinses off any of the starch clinging to the pasta, which in turn keeps the pasta from sticking together. It also halts any further cooking and cools the pasta down so you can quickly make the salad.
I only ever rinse pasta for cold salads. I believe it’s considered a culinary sin otherwise.
Build The Pasta Salad:
Add the cooled, cooked pasta to a large bowl. Next add in 8 ounces of halved cherry tomatoes, 1 small diced yellow and orange bell pepper, 4 ounces broccoli – cut into small florets, 6 ounces diced Genoa salami and 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese.
Pour in half of the dressing.
Give it a toss and taste to check for seasoning. Adding an extra pinch or two of kosher salt, if desired.
Once combined, cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Right before serving, I toss it with the remaining dressing, a few grinds of freshly ground black pepper and a small sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
This is the absolute BEST Italian Bowtie Pasta Salad!
It’s colorful, simple and delicious! And most importantly, loved by every single soul in my household. Even though both my kids pick out the tomatoes, which just happen to be my favorite part. So I just make them add their tomatoes to my plate.
Can This Italian Pasta Salad Be Made In Advance?
Absolutely! Follow the instructions and toss with the remaining half of the dressing right before serving.
MAKE IT A MEAL BY ADDING GRILLED CHICKEN.
- In a bowl combine 2 teaspoons avocado oil, juice of 1/2 a lemon, 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, a few pinches of red pepper flakes and 3/4 teaspoon of salt.
- Toss in 1 to 1-1/4 pounds thin-cut, boneless skinless chicken breasts and marinate on your counter for 30 minutes. Grill 4 to 6 minutes on both sides (depending on thickness) or until fully cooked.
- Let rest for 5 to 6 minute before slicing and/or dicing and adding it to the pasta salad.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH PASTA SALAD:
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Italian Bowtie Pasta Salad
FOR THE ITALIAN VINAIGRETTE:
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 6 tablespoon olive oil
FOR THE PASTA SALAD:
- 16 ounces bowtie pasta
- sea salt, for salting pasta water
- 8 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
- 4 ounces broccoli, cut into small florets (tough stems discarded or composted)
- 1/2 cup diced yellow bell pepper
- 1/2 cup diced orange bell pepper
- 6 ounces genoa salami, diced small
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
FOR THE ITALIAN VINAIGRETTE:
- In a glass jar or container with a tight-fitting lid; add garlic, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
- Secure the lid and vigorously shake to combine. You will need to shake again before using.
FOR THE PASTA SALAD:
- Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Once boiling, stir in a palmful of sea salt and add in the dry pasta. Follow the package directions and cook to al dente. Drain into a colander and rinse with cold water.
- In a large bowl, combine the cooked (drained and cooled) pasta, tomato halves, broccoli florets, diced peppers and cubed salami. Pouring in half of dressing and 1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese.
- Taste and season with more salt if needed. Then cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Right before serving; I pour in the remaining Italian vinaigrette, a few turns of fresh black pepper and sprinkle about 1 to 2 more tablespoons of crumbled Parmesan over top.
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