Quick and easy pasta salad recipes are a summertime essential. We'd like to let you in on a little secret: pasta salads don't need to be a soggy mess. That's right, you can prepare a pasta salad that is firm yet flavorful if you follow one simple rule.
The trick lies in cooking the pasta until it's al dente (just until it loses that starchy center when cut in half). Many pasta boxes in America indicate a cooking time of 10-12 minutes (if you cook pasta this long you'll never end up with a firm bite).
Remember that pasta will continue cooking after it's been drained so don't be afraid to cut the cooking time to ensure your pasta is perfectly al dente. We find 8 minutes is just the right amount of cooking time for one pound of pasta.
Here are four easy pasta salad recipes that will help you get it right:
Cold Spaghetti Salad
While spaghetti is an unconventional shape for a pasta salad, this recipe from Michelin-starred Italian chef Luigi Taglienti really works.
The noodles are paired with carrots and grapefruit for a nice zest.
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