Rosa Marina Salad

This “salad” is named after my great-great-great Italian Grandma, Rosa Marina. God rest her soul.

Ummmm. I lie..I don’t have a Great great grandma named Rosa Marina and I am pretty sure that I don’t have an ounce of Italian in me. But who ever this Rosa Marina Bee-otch is, she sure made a yummy salad.
My friend Bobbi actually wanted me to make this salad for our little 4th of July party. She said her relative made it all the time when she visited Pennsylvania. I guess Rosa Marina is a type of pasta (damn, my grandma theory sounds soooo much better) that is popular in Pennsylvania.
Since Rosa Marina Pasta is no where to be found in Florida, I used Orzo Pasta. Bobbi gave me her family recipe..but I made a few changes as always. My husband has since renamed this salad Maggot Salad.(cause he thinks the cooked Orzo looks like Maggots) Yeah, real appetizing huh? Mmmmm, lets have some Maggot Salad. Tasty
1 box Orzo (16 oz)
1 can crushed Pineapple (20 oz)
1 can Chunk Pineapple (20 oz)
1 Large can Mandarin Oranges
1 jar maraschino Cherries (10 oz)
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp Flour
1 Tbsp Corn starch
16 oz. Cool Whip
1-2 cups pecans, toasted and chopped
Cook pasta according to package directions, drain, rinse and cool.
Drain the juice from the cans of pineapple, oranges and cherries into a large sauce pan. Reserve the fruit.
Beat in the eggs, sugar flour and cornstarch. Cook until thickened. Allow to cool somewhat and mix into the pasta. Cover and pop in the fridge overnight.
The next morning loosen up the pasta mixture with a sturdy spoon.
Add the fruit and nuts.
Fold in the Cool Whip


  1. 1
    VeggieGirl says:

    Wonderful tribute recipe.

  2. 2

    That looks a lot like something my mom used to make. Man I loved that stuff, I need to make it!

  3. 3

    Nice try. LOL! I am thinking this is similar to one I make called Pink Lady Salad. Looks yummy.

    Maggots, one of my favorite foods.;)

  4. 4
    JennyMac says:

    Hmmm, never seen a pasta salad with fruits and the such. I've had ambrosia salad….that rocks! I guess the bee-otch (LOL) knows what she was doing when she put these unlikely ingredients together!

  5. 5
    Leslie M. says:

    YUMMO… this is Ambrosia Salad on STEROIDS!!!
    Hubby would love this!!
    And your story was so heartwarming UNTIL…
    How is Nelson….
    Is that true.. Now I am doubting the veracity of that… J/K
    The other Les


  6. 6

    I laughed out loud when I saw that you actually don't have a great grandmother named Rosa Marina. Who needs Rosa anyway when you have her recipe!?

  7. 7
    Donna-FFW says:

    LOL..maggot salad..

  8. 8

    Is this similar to "Ambrosia"? My grandma is always talking about ambrosia but I swear I've never seen her make it. The picture you have hear is EXACTLY what I picture in my head though! 🙂

  9. 9

    Kinda. Ambrosia salad do not contain any pasta and it uses a lot of marshmallows. But it is still equally as good!

  10. 10

    I have had this before, but never with orzo…looks like I should go buy some maggots to make it!

  11. 11

    Oh, geez! That sounds gross. Why do they think we want to hear that? My honey one time told the kids after trying banana blondies, Your mother needs to throw THAT recipe away! Bum!

    The kids and I love orzo pasta and think this is definitely kid friendly.

  12. 12
    ♥peachkins♥ says:

    First time I've heard of this salad and I like scratch that.. I LOVE THIS SALAD!!

  13. 13
    Cristine says:

    YUM!!! Looks fantastic!

  14. 14
    Dhanggit says:

    🙂 YOu're so funny dear!! You almost got me there LOL (i mean on having italian blood)!!

    This Rosa Marina salad sounds so fantastic!! but Maggots salad sounds yummy too LOL

  15. 15
    cookies and cups says:

    This sounds crazy…if you told me that orzo and cool whip could be good I wouldn't have believed you, but this is such a strange ingredient combo that I MUST try it…I'll let you know!

  16. 16

    This looks like the perfect picnic salad!!!
    My mom makes something close to this and it vanishes…

  17. 17
    Katrina says:

    I think if you dressed up the name a little, like Fresh Fruity Maggot Salad, it would sound much more appetizing. ha!
    You are too funny about the whole great, great relative thing! I love this kind of salad, my husband does NOT!

  18. 18

    Out here, in Utah, we have a salad very close to this Rosa Marina bee-otch (lol). Ours is called "Frog's Eye Salad". It's basically the same idea with the addition of mini marshmallows and we use acini pasta. YUM!

    Frog’s Eye Salad
    1/2 c. sugar
    1 T. flour
    1/4 t. salt
    20 oz. pineapple chunks, undrained
    8 oz. crushed pineapple, undrained
    1 egg, beaten
    2 t. lemon juice
    1-1/3 c. Acini Pepe, uncooked
    2-11 oz. cans mandarin oranges, drained
    8 oz. Cool Whip, thawed
    3 c. miniature marshmallows
    In a saucepan, stir together sugar, flour and salt. Drain pineapple, reserving juice to
    equal 1 cup. With a whisk, gradually stir pineapple juice and egg into sugar mixture.
    Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil. Stir in
    lemon juice. Cool mixture to room temperature. Meanwhile cook pasta according to
    package, drain and rinse with cold water to cool quickly, drain well. In a large bowl;
    stir together pineapple juice mixture and pasta. Cover and refrigerate several hours or
    overnight. Add crushed pineapple and chunks, oranges, Cool Whip and
    marshmallows; stir gently and thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate until cold. 12- 1 cup

  19. 19
    Mommy's Kitchen says:

    Great salad recipe. I love orzo so the change up is good for me. Tell you great great great grandma Rosa Marina thank you LOL god knows she exsists somewhere.

  20. 20

    i feel like i've seen this before, but orzo wasn’t involved. it’s not the most appealing dish to my eyes, but i know it’s scrumptious. potluck perfection.

  21. 21
    Peter M says:

    Ya got me with this one…I was expecting something savory and I get a nice dessert!

  22. 22

    with a salad that yummy, you could call it whatever you wanted and i'm still going to chow it! yummy!

  23. 23
    Coleen's Recipes says:

    Salad??????? I think not!! lol (looks like a great dessert)

  24. 24
    Anonymous says:

    My mother has been making this salad for every party she goes to or has for over 25 years. It has always been a hit. We have realized that some people doesn't like the cool whip in it. so we leave it on the side for anyone who wants it can. And as far as calling it maggot salad, I love calling it that…it keeps others who have never tried it before away and leaves more for me!

  25. 25
    Bridgett says:

    Wow, pasta salad with fruit! Very cool! Definitely a must try as it sounds yummy. Just rename it to Leslie's White Girl Salad. 😉

  26. 26

    I have had a salad similar to this, but no pasta in it. That's very interesting! I'd love to try it!

  27. 27

    Never heard of this type of salad before. It has it all!

  28. 28

    I use Acini de Pepe pasta and the recipe on the back of the box calls it frog eye salad..People always argue with me saying it is tapioca..which is better than maggots any

  29. 29
    thebrunettebaker says:

    It's also called Acini de Pepi Salad…using the acini de pepi pasta which are little balls. It's one of those dishes you try once & it's enough 🙂

  30. 30

    Wow, I've never had pasta in a sweet dish before. There's a sweet salad I've seen in Oz called Ambrosia Salad that's pretty similar (without the pasta) -sounds really intriguing. Thanks for sharing!

  31. 31

    Les, whatever you call this,the salad looks awesome!!! Oh dear, I have a lot of reading to catch-up here after being absent for more than a month… now, where do I begin? hmmm, ah yes! I'll watch the DVD segment first… 😀

  32. 32
    noble pig says:

    Love it…love sweet with pasta, it's a good combo.

  33. 33
    pigpigscorner says:

    oh wow, this does look yummy!

  34. 34
    pmsalazar91 says:

    LOL Leave it to my cousin to rename a great dish something unappetizing. I bet my boys would be more willing to eat Maggot salad then the Rosa Marina salad.

  35. 35

    Bless your non-existent Italian grandmother, and your faux Italian roots. Swear to gad.

    Leslie, this is a new one to me, but I like every element going into this recipe, so I'm making it. Grandma Rosa Marina will be so proud.

  36. 36

    I've also heard it called Frog's Eye Salad, using acini de pepe pasta. My kids won't eat it, because it really looks like frog's eyes.

  37. 37
    East Utica NY Girl says:

    I have been making this salad since the late 80's; came across it in a magazine while looking for large quantity recipes. I have heard it called Rosa Marina Salad and Hawaiin Salad. I usually make it between 7-10 times every summer for parties because it is such a hit!!! Then I will break it down a couple of times in between parties for my daughter and I to enjoy since we both love it. One tip that I have is to wisk the eggs immediately after putting them in hot liquid so that they don't cook in chunks. Initially the recipe I had only called for flour, but I started adding corn starch since I would have troubles with it thickening. I have never put nuts in it though, not sure if I would do that. Since learning of this recipe, I developed a passion for pasta with fruit dishes. Have two other favorites including an Apple Lasagna and an Acini de Pepe fruit dessert; both can be served warm and very delicious. I would be willing to share these recipes, my email is… Happy Cooking…..

  38. 38
    Sabrina says:

    Rosa Marina is/was supposedly a type of pasta, similar to Orzo, but I cannot find it anywhere to purchase! Can anyone find it?

  39. 39

    I was unable to locate it ANYWHERE. I used Orzo instead.