Very Italian Pasta Salad

Prep Time
Cook Time
Ready In

"I call this Italian because I got it from an Italian cooking magazine. Pasta salads are not my favorite, so the ones I actually post, TRUST ME, are really good. For this salad you first have to cook mini meatballs. The recipe makes more meatballs than needed in the salad (in my opinion), but they are delicious and a great appetizer by themselves. Plus it is impossible not to munch on them while cooking them. The recipe calls for 3 red onions instead of 1 as I posted, but Italia red onion, called Tropea, are much milder and sweeter than American ones."

Original is 7 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (368.8 g)
  • Calories 644.9
  • Total Fat - 23.4 g
  • Saturated Fat - 8.3 g
  • Cholesterol - 182.4 mg
  • Sodium - 633.4 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 86.9 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 11 g
  • Sugars - 7.7 g
  • Protein - 23.3 g
  • Calcium - 154.9 mg
  • Iron - 3.3 mg
  • Vitamin C - 19.9 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.4 mg

Step by Step Method

Step 1

Cook the rotelle in abundant salt water following manufacturer’s instructions, tasting for readiness from time to time. Also boil 3 of the eggs to make hard-boiled eggs.

Step 2

To a large bowl add the breadcrumbs and the milk and let them sit for a couple of minutes. Then add ground beef, the remaining egg, Parmesan cheese and a little bit of salt and pepper. Remember Parmesan is salty. Mix well and make tiny meatballs the size of a cherry or a grape.

Step 3

Put them in a pan with the flour and toss them around to dust them.

Step 4

Fry the meatballs in a large frying pan over high heat, until golden, about 4 minutes total, turning them around with the help of 2 fork, to get n even golden. Drain on paper towels.

Step 5

Now slice hard-boiled eggs in wheels; take the egg yolks and put them in a bowl. Mash them with a fork and mix then with the olive oil salt and pepper until emulsified. This will be your dressing.

Step 6

Drain the pasta, put it in a large bowl and toss with the dressing. Use as much dressing as you want, you don’t have to use the whole cup if you think it is too much for your taste. You can always add some more later on.

Step 7

Now add onions, tomatoes, caper berries, egg white rings and parsley. Toss and let it sit for about 15 minutes for the flavors to blend.


No special items needed.

5 Reviews


I bought Vidalia onions, which are mild and sweet, so I used one large onion and 1 small. The mix of ingredients make up a very flavorful salad which we enjoyed till it was gone.


review by:
(25 May 2021)


Thanks so much for posting this. This is my first time eating capers. I had an interruption and realized at the end that I forgot the parsley. We had it on top. You are right. Lots of meatballs left over. But no problem. They go well with everything. I made this for Alphabet Soup game in the forums and for What's on the Menu have in Food Friends and Fun.


(25 May 2021)


Delicious pasta salad that we will any times more. We love the rich flavors and the meatballs were great!


review by:
(20 May 2019)


You were right, this is THAT good! We all give it 5 stars across the table!


review by:
(29 Jun 2016)


Awesome pasta salad! Love the fact that there is no mayo in this. Made half the recipe for the two of us. Used fresh eggs that did not peel well, so chopped the egg whites and could not find the wagon wheel pasta so used shells. I do think that this salad would benefit from some fresh herbs (basil & oregano) and garlic, just my opinion. You were so right about munching on the meatballs!! Will be making this for summer visitors. Thanks Pia for another keeper! Made for Billboard Recipe Tag.


review by:
(19 May 2016)

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