Cold spaghetti is like cold pizza: It can be even better than its hot counterpart, depending on what else you add to it. For cold pizza, that means ranch. For cold spaghetti, that means treating the noodles like beans, grains, or other starchy ingredients that are delightful eaten cold. Here, we’re tossing cold spaghetti with a mess of herbs held together by olive oil and perked up with lemon and garlic.
What Is Salsa Verde?
That sauce is better known as salsa verde, an endlessly riffable Italian sauce (not to be confused with Mexican salsa verde) whose core components include chopped soft-stem herbs (parsley, basil, cilantro — as opposed to thyme and rosemary), olive oil, garlic, an acid (like lemon or red wine vinegar), and sometimes something briny, like capers or anchovies, and spicy, like red pepper flakes or jalapeño.
Here, the zippy, parsley-based sauce luxuriously coats the cold noodles, thanks to all the olive oil. Add a can of white beans for a meal-worthy salad, or add canned tuna or hard-boiled eggs instead. Feel free to swap out the herb, or use leftover spaghetti (or another pasta shape) instead of a fresh batch. Cold pasta, like cold pizza, bends to your needs.
Cold Noodles with Salsa Verde and White Beans
medium lemons, divided
- 2 cups
finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 1 clove
- 1 cup
extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (15-ounce) can
white beans, such as cannellini or Great Northern, drained and rinsed
- 1 pound
dried spaghetti or other pasta
Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, finely grate the zest of 1 lemon into the bowl, then halve and juice the lemon into the bowl. Cut a second lemon into wedges and set aside for serving. Chop until you have 2 cups finely chopped fresh parsley leaves, grate or mince 1 garlic clove, and add both to the bowl of lemon zest and juice. Add 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, season generously with salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Drain and rinse the can of white beans, then stir it into the salsa verde.
Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water, then drain again. Add to the salsa verde and toss until combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve with the lemon wedges.
Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 3 days.
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