Pittsburgh Pasta Salad

READY IN: 1hr 42mins
YIELD: 6 cups




  • Step 1 – Measure out the water. The perfect water to pasta ratio is 1 gallon (16 cups) of water for every 1 pound of pasta. Too much water will take too long to boil and too little water will cause the pasta to clump.
  • Step 2 – Add COLD water to the pot. Hot sink water will contain more impurities than cold sink water. Use a big enough pot that will hold the water and pasta. Make sure it has a large base so that the water will boil faster. This is a pretty easy step.
  • Step 3 – Bring the water to a fast, raging boil. Also, add a little bit of salt to the water (about 1-2 tablespoons) but don’t add any olive oil! This will season the pasta as well as quicken the time for the water to boil.
  • Step 4 – Add the pasta to the water and do NOT cover with a lid. Also, do not add the pasta until Step 3 is reached and make sure the water is back to boiling after the pasta is added. Start your timer after the water reaches a boil again.
  • Step 5 – After 1 minute, give the pasta a stir. After that leave it alone!
  • Step 6 – Test your pasta after 4 minutes. The proper amount of time it takes to cook pasta “al dente,” or tender but firm, varies for all the different types of pastas. So keep testing your pasta every minute from here on out. The entire time to cook should probably it between 8 to 12 minutes.
  • Step 7 – Once the pasta is “al dente,” remove it from the heat and drain it immediately into a colander to stop the cooking process. If you wait too long, your pasta will over cook and become too mushy. If for some strange, unforeseen reason, you can’t immediately do this, add about 1/2 to 1 cup of cold water to the pot. This will lower the temperature enough to stop the cooking.
  • Step 8 – Don’t over drain the pasta, it should still remain moist. Also, NEVER RINSE OFF THE PASTA! Unless the recipe calls for it. After you have drained the pasta, return it to the pot or a pan and add whatever sauce you made to it. This will keep the pasta from sticking together.
  • 2.) Once pasta is cooked, drain and place in fridge to cool for about an hour.
  • 3.) Remove from fridge and mix together the chopped red and green peppers, chopped onion, Italian dressing and Parmesan cheese into the bowl.
  • 4.) Place this in the fridge for another 30 minutes.