Curried Pasta Salad


This is a great summer salad recipe. I have borrowed it, again, from my friend Jude, who indicated in her cookbook that it came from the Bon Appetit  August 1991 issue. I like both its texture, the variety of ingredients, and the spicy and sweet combination. It is made with regular pasta, but gluten-free pasta can be used. I have made this salad at least 30 times, for groups ranging from 4 to 20 and I have never heard anybody be disappointed.

One of my fondest memories of making this salad dates back to the time when I was the caterer on my daughter Elza’s second feature, Go In The Wilderness, during the summer of 2011.  The film shoot lasted 5 weeks. I made this salad for a crew of 20, and each week they wanted me to prepare it again!

Pasta Salad

Curried Pasta Salad

45 minutes

15 minutes

Category: Recipes, Salads, Side dishes

6 servings

Curried Pasta Salad


  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 1 garlic clove, quartered
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup packed stemmed fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/4 cup lemon jice
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 red onion, peeled, finely chopped
  • 1 cup sliced pitted Kalamata olives
  • 2/3 cup dried currants (dried cranberries can also be used)
  • 2/3 cup toasted pine nuts (toasted, shelled almonds can also be used)
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup oil


  1. Cook pasta in a lage pot of boiling salted water until al dente, drain, rinse under cold water, drain well and transfer to a large bowl
  2. Blend garlic and salt to a paste in a food processor, scraping down the sides of the bowl (or crush garlic and mash it down with the salt using a fork or spoon)
  3. Add the parsley to the food processor and mince
  4. Blend in lemon juice, vinegar, curry, sugar, cumin and pepper
  5. With machine running, gradually add oil through feed tube in a thin steady stream (the amount of oil you will use varies according to taste; I prefer to start with a bit less oil, then I add more later after the dressing has been mixed with the pasta, if I feel that it needs more oil)
  6. Pour dressing over pasta and mix
  7. If using toasted almonds, first shell them by dropping them in hot water for up to 5 minutes, then shell, then dry the almonds and dry-fry them at medium heat in a frying pan with a heavy bottom, tossing them constantly until they turn slightly brown, for about 10-15 minutes; they should not be allowed to burn
  8. Add onions, olives, currants and almonds to pasta and toss
  9. Season with pepper
  10. Cover and refrigetare until chilled, about two hours

Curried Pasta Salad

2 comments on “Curried Pasta Salad

Leave a Reply

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