Ham Pasta Salad


A true Italian Ham Pasta Salad with the sweet, salty flavor and colorful appeal that will feed your FOODIE HUNGER!

A real Italian pasta salad recipe will almost NEVER have mayonnaise in it. In fact you will never see large jumbo jars of containers of mayonnaise in any store in Italy. Italians just don't use mayonnaise that often and if they do they usually make it fresh.

I thought this would be the perfect recipe for a pre-easter snack. Easter is bigger then Christmas in Italy so I'm trying to keep it simple so I can spend time preparing for the big Easter meal.

This Italian pasta salad recipe is light in flavor and so colorful. A great way to bring in the spring.

Ham Pasta Salad Ingredients:

ham pasta salad ingredients

  1. 1 lb Cavatappi pasta shape or other creative hollow pasta shape
  2. 3 cups of diced smoked ham or crudo ham
  3. 2 cups of diced, ripe tomatoes
  4. 1 cup of Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
  5. ½ cup of chopped red onion
  6. 2 teaspoons of dry ground mustard
  7. ¼ cup of olive oil
  8. 2 teaspoons of coarse salt
  9. Fresh cracked pepper to taste

Pasta Salad Preparation:

Use my guide to cooking pasta perfectly for this Italian pasta salad recipe. Once it's cooked, rinse in cold water, drizzle with a little bit of the olive oil and set in the refrigerator to cool until you finish the prep below.

Cutting Ham for the ham pasta salad

I like to buy a whole ham and slice off large slices about an inch thick and trim off the skin, then dice into my cubes for the ham pasta salad. Not only does it taste fresh but I can use the ham for other Italian pasta recipes and then use the bone for my Italian soup recipes. In true Italian style, you never let anything go to waste. Or you can buy a boneless ham like I did here. Just because I was in a pinch for time for the big Easter meal prep.

Take a large ripe tomato or two, if they are not that big, and dice them in about the same size.

Slice a crisp red onion into ⅛ inch slices and then dice. I only use about a quarter cup because I don't like the onion to over power the salty, fresh ham and the sweetness of the tomato.

Simple fresh ingredients! That's what it's all about.

Coarsely chop the Italian parsley.

The pasta should be cool now so in a large mixing bowl put the pasta in first, then the rest of the ingredients, including the ground mustard and coarse salt and cracked pepper. Then add the olive oil and stir together.

You can chill for an additional hour if you like but as far as I'm concerned it's time to pour a glass of crisp white wine, grab a piece of crusty Italian bread and…

Vivere, Amare, Ridere e Mangiare Bene
Live, Love, Laugh and Eat Well!
Kira Volpi

Do you have a pasta recipe to share? Just like this ham pasta salad recipe I will post it right here on this site for a whole page dedicated to your Italian pasta recipe.

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