How to cook Pasta Salad with Hazelnuts

Pasta Salad with Hazelnuts, a dish embodying the whimsy and robust flavors of Italy’s earthy woodlands and fertile fields, beckons you to partake in a joyous feast where textures and tastes collide in celebration. We at Italy Today Restaurant extend a warm invitation to explore this delectable creation through our online gathering place,

As the head chef and your enthusiastic culinary escort, I am elated to share not just the method of this dish but also the story it weaves—a narrative rich with the crunch of hazelnuts, the succulence of fresh pasta, and the vibrant zing of our carefully chosen dressing.

Picture the scene: a sun-kissed Italian piazza comes to life in your home as you toss al dente pasta with the toasted, nutty bounty of hazelnuts. These little gems, hailing from the shaded groves of Italy, add a satisfying crunch and a whisper of earthiness that elevates the salad from mere sustenance to a rustic gastronomic indulgence.

Nestled amongst the pasta, you’ll find splashes of color and freshness provided by an array of garden vegetables—ripe cherry tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, perhaps some slender slices of radish—each contributing its unique texture and flavor profile to the ensemble.

A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, the nectar of Mediterranean cuisine, joins forces with the zest and juice of a lemon, creating a dressing that brightens and binds the components with its citrusy spark. Fresh herbs from the garden, such as basil or parsley, are sprinkled in to grant the salad a fragrant kiss of greenery.

This Pasta Salad with Hazelnuts is not just a dish; it’s a tapestry of Italy’s culinary landscape, an homage to the simple pleasure of dining under the open sky where food is celebrated, shared, and savored among friends and family.

To weave this dish into the fabric of your own culinary repertoire, please journey to, where each step is laid out with love and care to ensure your success in capturing the effervescent spirit of Italian cooking.

Buon appetito! May this Pasta Salad with Hazelnuts transport you to a fleeting Italian summer, where every bite crackles with texture and bursts with the joy of life’s simplest treasures.

Pasta Salad with Hazelnuts recipe

GF Pasta with Hazelnuts, Parmesan, and Arugula – GF Chow

Pasta Salad with Hazelnuts

Pasta Salad with Hazelnuts is an inviting and vibrant dish crafted with the flavors of Italy in mind. It's a joyous blend of al dente pasta mingling with the toasty crunch of hazelnuts, brought together by a dressing that sings with citrusy freshness. Colourful garden vegetables such as cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and radishes add varied textures and fresh flavors. The entire salad is kissed by the fragrant aroma of herbs like basil or parsley and tied together with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and the zest and juice of a lemon. This creation is not just food but an experience reminiscent of a sunny Italian piazza, designed to be savored among friends and family and shared as a celebration of life's simple pleasures. For the full recipe and a more immersive exploration of Italian cuisine, you can visit, where the head chef shares their passion for bringing the essence of Italy into your kitchen.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Pasta
Cuisine Italian
Servings 1 people
Calories 658 kcal


  • 1 pan


  • 1 tomato
  • 1/2 onion
  • 100 g 3.5 oz bow tie pasta cooked
  • 40 g 1.5 oz diced ham
  • 5 g chopped hazelnuts
  • 1/2 tbsp mustard
  • 1 tbsp of fresh cream crème fraîche
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper


  • Wash and dice the tomato.
  • Peel and chop the onion, mix the cold pasta with diced tomatoes, ham, nuts and onion.
  • Prepare the dressing in a bowl by mixing mustard with the cream.
  • Drizzle with oil then add salt, pepper and lemon juice.
  • Mix with the salad and serve cold.



Tips for making Pasta Salad with Hazelnuts

Hazelnut Pesto Pasta Salad - Salt. Butter. Smoke.

Cooking Tips

  • Toasted Hazelnuts: Toasting the hazelnuts is essential as it enhances their flavor and adds a delightful crunch. Be careful not to burn them; watch closely while they’re in the oven or on the stovetop.
  • Pasta Choice: Choose a pasta shape that will catch the ingredients and dressing, such as farfalle or rotini. Cook it al dente for textural contrast with the crisp vegetables and toasted nuts.
  • Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Since the dressing is simple, using a high-quality extra virgin olive oil will make a noticeable difference in taste. It will add a fruity, peppery note that is quintessential to an Italian salad.
  • Fresh Vegetables: Use the freshest vegetables you can find for the salad. Cherry tomatoes should be ripe and cucumbers crisp, contributing to the varied textures of the dish.
  • Lemon Zest and Juice: Incorporate both zest and juice from lemons to create a dressing that offers a bright, citrusy tang which complements the earthiness of the hazelnuts and the fresh flavors of the vegetables.
  • Garden Fresh Herbs: Chop herbs like basil or parsley right before adding them to the salad to preserve their fragrance and color. They offer a fresh green pop both in flavor and presentation.
  • Dressing Consistency: Whisk the dressing well to create an emulsion. Taste and adjust the acidity with more lemon juice or oil if needed, and balance it out with salt and pepper.
  • Combine with Care: Gently toss the cooked, cooled pasta with the dressing, hazelnuts, and vegetables to coat evenly. Handle carefully to avoid smashing the tender ingredients.
  • Chill Before Serving: Letting the salad rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes allows the flavors to meld together and intensifies the taste.
  • Final Touches: Right before serving, give the salad one last gentle stir, and consider a final drizzle of olive oil or sprinkle of salt to heighten flavors at their peak.

Serving suggestions

Easy Italian pasta salad recipe

  • Artistic Presentation: Serve the salad in a large, shallow dish to display the colorful medley of ingredients. This not only looks appealing but also allows for easy mixing before serving.
  • Accent with Herbs: A final garnish of freshly torn basil leaves or chopped parsley provides a burst of greenery that enlivens the salad’s appearance and adds an aromatic freshness to complement the earthy hazelnuts.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil Finish: Have a bottle of high-quality extra virgin olive oil on hand for guests who might want to drizzle a little extra onto their portion, enhancing the rich flavors inherent in the salad.
  • Bread Pairing: Offer crusty Italian bread or focaccia to accompany the salad. The bread is great for soaking up the flavorful dressing and adds a satisfying textural contrast to the crunchy nuts and soft pasta.
  • Wine Harmony: Pair this nutty and fresh pasta salad with a chilled glass of Pinot Grigio or Verdicchio. These light, crisp white wines can balance the richness of the nuts and olive oil without overpowering the salad’s fresh taste.
  • Adding Protein: While the salad stands as a complete dish, guests might appreciate the option to add some protein. Consider offering grilled chicken strips or flaked tuna on the side for those who wish to have a bit more substance.
  • Serving Utensils: Provide salad tongs or large spoons for easy self-serving, ensuring the delicate components, like the roasted hazelnuts and vegetables, stay intact and are evenly distributed among portions.

Top 5 FAQs about Pasta Salad with Hazelnuts

Whole Wheat Penne with Arugula and Hazelnuts Recipe | Food Network Kitchen  | Food Network

  • What type of pasta works best for Pasta Salad with Hazelnuts? Choose a pasta shape that can catch the dressing and mix well with the other ingredients. Pasta shapes such as farfalle or rotini are recommended, and they should be cooked al dente to maintain texture and provide a contrast to the toasted hazelnuts and fresh vegetables.
  • How should the hazelnuts be prepared for the salad? Toasting the hazelnuts is key to enhancing their flavor. You can toast them in the oven or on the stovetop until they’re golden and fragrant, then let them cool before adding them to the salad. Be cautious not to burn them, as this would impart a bitter taste.
  • Which vegetables are most suitable for this salad, and how should they be cut? Fresh garden vegetables like cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and radishes add color and texture to the salad. These should be cut into bite-sized pieces that complement the pasta shape you’ve chosen. Use the freshest vegetables possible for the best flavor and texture.
  • Can additional proteins be added to Pasta Salad with Hazelnuts? While the dish stands well on its own, grilled chicken strips or flaked tuna can be excellent protein additions for those looking for a heartier meal. Prepare these separately and offer them on the side, so guests can choose to add them as they please.
  • What type of dressing is used, and how should it be applied? The dressing for the pasta salad is citrusy and light, made with extra virgin olive oil, lemon zest and juice, and is seasoned with herbs like basil or parsley. Whisk the dressing together well to create an emulsion, and then toss it with the cooked, cooled pasta, ensuring each ingredient is evenly coated. Adjust the acidity or seasoning if needed before chilling the salad in the fridge to allow the flavors to meld.

In conclusion, the Pasta Salad with Hazelnuts is an exquisite dish that captures the heart of Italian cuisine, combining the rustic charm of toasted hazelnuts with the crispness of fresh vegetables and the al dente quality of well-chosen pasta. The harmony of textures and flavors is accentuated by a fragrant lemon-based dressing and the richness of high-quality extra virgin olive oil. It is a dish that tells a story of Italy’s diverse culinary culture, offering a taste that is both comforting and sophisticated.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

Scroll to Top