Mamma Mia! Pasta Salad Recipe

This pasta salad is a tasty summer dish, perfect to prepare on a warm day when don’t want to stand in front of the stove but still want to enjoy a simple, refreshing and light dish! The authors of The Mamma Mia! Diet suggest having it as a main dish for your midday meal—it is satisfying, quick and easy to prepare and rich in many nutrients. You can also prepare it for a picnic or have it for lunch at work.

Mackerels (called in Italian “pesce azzurro”, like sardines or anchovies) is common in the Mediterranean sea and is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, minerals, and protein.


Mamma Mia! Pasta Salad
Total preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 11–12 minutes
Yield: 2 servings

3.5 oz (100 g) whole durum wheat bow-tie pasta
5 oz (140 g) cherry tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, cut in half
10–15 basil leaves
5 oz (140 g) canned mackerel, in extra virgin olive oil (use sardines or tuna as alternates)
2 tablespoons Taggiasche olives or black olives, pitted
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, seasoned with hot chili pepper
Sea salt, to taste

1. Wash cherry tomatoes and cut in half. Place in a bowl with garlic and add a pinch of salt. Let rest for 5 minutes to release the water.
2. Remove garlic and drain water from tomatoes.
3. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta al dente for about 11–12 minutes, according to the instructions on the package.
4. In a bowl, mix drained and cut pieces of mackerel, tomatoes, and olives. Shred basil leaves by hand and add.
5. Drain pasta al dente and rinse with cold water. Add to the mix. Toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and serve at room temperature. You can store this dish in the refrigerator in a sealed container for 1 day. It is a delicious lunch box dish for summer.

Related: Marinated Chicken Breast in Orange Juice with Pistachios Recipe


Paola Lovisetti Scamihorn is an Italian pharmacist, researcher and food writer. Cooking, eating healthy food and staying active have always been her life-long passions. She has a cooking blog “Passion and Cooking,” and contributes to several international magazines. She has previously published in Italy Love is Eating, focusing on Italian culinary culture.

Paola Palestini is a biochemistry professor at the Medical School of the University Milano-Bicocca, Italy. Recently, Paola has been actively involved in the promotion of the principles of a healthy diet through conferences and in collaboration with several magazines. She is the author of seventy-six scientific articles published in international journals.

Learn more about The Mamma Mia! Diet at