Sicilian pasta salad is a quick dish to make for a warm summer evening. Pare it with a  wine of the primitivo grape and you will not need much to feel the Sicilian touch! The olives, the radicchio salad leaves, sweet summer cherry tomatoes and a fresh cheese such as feta or similar and some ricotta cheese will work magic. Complement with a good olive oil and with a good vinegar or fresh lemon juice.

The art of making Sicilian pasta salad.

Actually there is not much that can go wrong with making this salad. Of course use fresh ingredients and a good olive oil. Then most of the attention should go to cooking the pasta.  If you use store bought pasta, use fusilli, the pasta that has a nice torque. This type of pasta needs to be cooked in lots of water with sufficient salt.  Use not more than 100 g per liter boiling water. Bring the water with the salt to a  rolling boil and add the fusilli. Then keep adding heat until the water boils again. From that time on I use usually 12-14 minutes under a rolling boil, but you may shorten it if you like it more al-dente.

When the pasta is sufficiently cooked, take them out with a slotted spoon and dump them in lots of cold water and cool them down for a few minutes. May be refresh the water if needed. Thereafter, remove the water and let briefly drip dry. Then add a glug of olive oil and toss the pasta around. Thereafter store in the fridge covered, until use. This way they will not stick together.

Special equipment


sicilian pasta salad©️ Nel Brouwer-van den Bergh

Sicilian Pasta Salad

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
2 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian, Mediterranean
Servings 4


Salad Ingredients

  • 1 medium head of radicchio
  • 1.5 cups (sweet) cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup pitted olives
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 0.5 cup ricotta cheese
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice or balsamic vinegar or a mix
  • 4-6 tbsp virgin olive oil, first pressing
  • salt to taste
  • freshly ground (black) pepper to taste


Bringing the salad together

  • bring a large pot of salted water with 4-5 liter to rolling boil. Add sufficient salt (10 g/l)
  • Add the pasta, bring back to the boil and then cook for 10-14 min, according to your taste
  • While the pasta is cooking, whisk 1/3 cup of olive oil with the vinegar/lemon juice add some salt and pepper
  • take the radicchio leaves and roughly tear them with your fingers.
  • Also cut or crumble the cheese(s)
  • drain the olives and ensure they are pitted
  • wash and dry the cherry tomatoes and cut them in half or in four parts, up to your preference
  • drain the pasta, dump in cold water and cool down. Then drain and coat with a glug of olive oil
  • bring the cold pasta with all other ingredients together and toss to combine


Method: simple mixing
Food allergy & intolerance information: gluten (pasta)


  1. You can use different cheeses, but sheep or goat cheese if preferred
  2. Use a good olive oil and Sicilian black olives or kalimata olives with a wink to the Sicilians

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