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Italian Pasta Salad

Tender rigatoni pasta, onion, and black olives marinate in a tangy-sweet vinegar and sugar mixture overnight to create a deliciously simple side dish. Or, add protein for a main dish salad.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American - Vintage
Keyword potlucks, refreshing, summer side dish, tangy
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chill 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 20 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 452kcal
Author Marye Audet-White


  • 2 pounds rigatoni
  • 1 purple onion coarsely chopped (red onion, purple onion - it's the same)
  • 28 ounces ripe black olives drained and sliced
  • 3 tablespoons Italian seasoning rub it between your palms as you add it to the dish - it will have more flavor.
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar don't be afraid to use more or less to taste
  • salt to taste


  • Cook the rigatoni until over done. Yep. Overdone. Nope. I am not kidding. Do not try this with a la dente pasta it won't work. It needs to be very cooked, but still hold it's shape.
  • Drain. 
  • Pour the vinegar and sugar mixture over the hot pasta. 
  • Dump the handful of herbs on it.
  •  Mix thoroughly and let cool. 
  • Add the onion and black olives and mix well. 
  • Cover and chill overnight.
  • Stir gently before serving - you may need to add a little more of the vinegar sugar mixture.


may add: shredded Mozzarella or Parmesan, halved cherry tomatoes, chopped parsley, cooked chicken, etc.


Calories: 452kcal | Carbohydrates: 78g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 1036mg | Potassium: 240mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 280IU | Vitamin C: 0.7mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 1.8mg