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Michela Chiappa’s Zesty Lemon & Rocket Pasta

2 minutes, 27 seconds Read

Pasta aficionados Barilla have partnered with Welsh-Italian Chef Michela Chiappa to create the perfect picnic pasta salad recipe – Zesty Lemon & Rocket Pasta.

The Perfect Picnic Pasta Salad Zesty Lemon & Rocket Pasta

By Michela Chiappa for Barilla

Creating simple yet delicious dishes are at the heart of Italian cooking, so Barilla has teamed up with Michela Chiappa, the Welsh/Italian chef celebrity TV chef and author, to create this summery recipe. Perfect for any warm-weather occasion – from BBQs to picnics – this recipe combines zesty lemon and peppery rocket and can be prepared ahead of time.

Barilla is the world’s largest family-owned pasta company and so knows a thing or two when it comes to creating intensely Italian recipes.

Chef Michela Chiappa

“I love this recipe as not only does it make a delicious cold pasta for picnics, you don’t need to pre-cook any of the ingredients! Apart from the pasta of course!”


“My top tip for making pasta salads is to pre-cook the pasta a day or two in advance, cool it and cover it with olive oil and put it in a zip lock bag in the fridge ready for when you go on your picnic. On the day, toss the remaining ingredients over the pasta.”

Ingredients (serves 2):

200g Barilla pasta

1 tin of tuna (in olive oil ideally – I love to use Rio Mare)

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

50g rocket

50g small cherry tomatoes sliced in half

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

Salt flakes (I like to use Maldon salt flakes)



* Cook your pasta in a large pan of salted boiling water.
* When al dente, drain the pasta and then run it under cold water to stop the pasta cooking. You can also enjoy this recipe hot – if so, drain the pasta and continue on to the next stage.
* Coat your pasta with the extra virgin olive oil to stop it from sticking (you could bag this up in a zip lock and seal it in the fridge for a few days if you want to make in advance).
* When ready to eat, toss the tuna, tomatoes and fresh rocket leaves through the pasta and sprinkle a generous amount of salt flakes and ground black pepper.
* Zest your lemon and squeeze over at least half the lemon juice.

“The amount of lemon used is personal preference – I love lots and put extra on, but some people prefer to put less as they find too much lemon overpowering. Tweak this to your preference and don’t forget to taste as you go along. Same with the salt and pepper seasoning. I love putting a little extra salt in as I like the contrast of the salt and lemon but again this needs to be adjusted according to personal preferences.” For more information on Barilla and its full range of pasta products, please visit:

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