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Main Dish Cold Pasta ideas

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with all this heat I'm looking for a pasta dish that is good cold- but more like a main dish (most of my recipes are more like side dishes). I tried one once that I loved -angel hair with pine nuts, dried apricots & some other stuff, but it was so long ago that I have no recollection of what else was in it. any good ones out there?

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  1. I think I've got one somewhere that involves sliced bell peppers, olives, and cubes of ham and cheese tossed with spiral-type noodles (fusilli?). I have no recollection of what sort of "dressing" it called for, but a vinaigrette would probably work dandy with that. It was definitely substantial enough for a main course.

    1. I like orzo with a nice variety of vegetables as a main-dish salad in summer. This is one example:

      The version I like has all kinds of veggies in season - favorites are snow peas, bell peppers, grape tomatoes - plus feta or some other cheese, olives and a nice vinaigrette dressing. You can make it more substantial with cold chicken or shrimp.

      1. I am one of the much maligned carb counters and something I have discovered is that pasta salads made with Dreamfields products make a superior pasta salad. They do not absorb as much moisture as regular mainstream pastas do. They remain firm to the tooth even after a couple of days and do not get flabby. This doscvery is making my hot hot hot summer much better. Big relief coming a high on Sat. of 75 and humidity of at most 30%. Wow! Anyone have some suggestions for a cold Indiana summer recipe?

        1. sichuanese sesame noodles.
          vietanamese vermicelli (banh mi?)
          linguine w/pesto, potatoes, and peas or snap peas.
          pad thai (room temp.)

          1. This is one of my favorites - I actually crave it in the winter. It's best with the Italian tuna in olive oil. You basically put the ingredients together and let them sit at room temp for an hour, then toss with pasta - good warm or cold.



            1. Tonight we are having penne pasta with shrimp,tomatoes,lemon cukes,zuchinni, with a lemon vinegrette dressing...oh and some basil too.

              1. Well, not really a cold pasta, more room temperature, but it's my favorite summertime pasta dish. Use whatever quantity feels right to you.

                Cooked pasta, penne is ok but I like the fat macaroni type pasta whose name has escaped me- it's all dumped into a lidded container as soon as I get back from the store (do not rinse)

                cherry tomatoes sliced in half

                sliced basil (a big ole handful)

                pieces o'fresh mozarella (but, hey, you can use smoked moz or even provolone, it's your pasta)

                mass of toasted pinenuts (it's your pasta, also good w/ walnuts or chopped whole roasted almonds)

                drizzle of ev olive oil (splurge and use the good stuff)

                a splash of balsamic vinegar (not necessary if you add the optional -heck, it's all optional - sliced freshly pitted kalamata olives or those little green piccholine olives)

                optional olives

                course salt (less if you use the aforementioned optional olives)


                a fresh grating of parmesan (now you're talking!)

                I sometimes add some garlic or other fresh herbs.

                Prepare ingredients aside from pasta and parmesan. Put cooked pasta into a big bowl. Dump in other ingredients. Grate parmesan over the whole thing. Serve in bowls. It can serve as a lunch the next day if (and only if) you add the basil, fresh, to individual bowls. Otherwise the basil turns black and nasty.

                1. Easy pasta salad:

                  Penne Pasta
                  Grilled chicken ( hand shredded)
                  lots and lots of garlic
                  lots of fresh thyme
                  olive oil
                  Squeeze of lemon juice

                  1. Cooked pasta nuggets, cubed smoked turkey, dried cherries, minced celery and onion, chopped whole unsalted almonds. Dressing is as follows:

                    1/4 cup powered sugar
                    2 Tbsp. Champagne Vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
                    2 cups Mayo
                    2 Tbsp. cold water
                    2 Tbsp. Poppy Seeds
                    2 tsp. Kosher salt
                    1/8 tsp. pepper

                    This is a great main meal salad and works well as a side too.