Spaghetti with Melon, Marinated Cucumbers, and Pickled Peppers

Okay, so it’s pasta salad, but different.

SloBurn Spaghetti Salad
Pasta bowl by ERA Ceramics

It may sound weird to tuck cantaloupe into a bowl of spaghetti, but Italians do it and you should too. That sweet melon is in contrast to a parade of tangy things—red wine vinegar, pickled peppers, and piquant pecorino. Marinated cucumbers bring tempered crunch, buttery olives a bit of umami. Served not hot, but not cold, it’s the kind of thing you want to eat outside with a glass of rosé on an late-summer evening, as much as pack in a portable container for lunch the next day.

Serves 4 as a side dish, or 2 as a main


  • 8 ounces dried spaghetti
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, mashed
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Persian cucumber or 1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups diced cantaloupe
  • 1/3 cup lightly packed parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped pitted Castelvetrano olives
  • 2 tablespoons pickled red sweet peppers (we like Mama Lil’s Sweet Hot Pickled Peppers)
  • 1/4 cup coarsely grated pecorino Romano cheese


  1. Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. (They will be a bit firmer when cold, so don’t undercook them.)
  2. Meanwhile, whisk the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, sugar, pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Add the cucumbers and marinate 5 to 10 minutes while the pasta cooks.
  3. Drain the spaghetti and rinse briefly under cold water until mostly cooled but still just a little warm. Add the spaghetti to the bowl of dressing and toss to coat. Add the cantaloupe, parsley, olives, and pickled peppers and toss. Top with the pecorino and serve.

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