Bright yellow color, firmness and low cooking loss are important factors for the production of good-quality pasta products. However, the genetic factors underlying those traits are still poorly understood. To fill this gap we developed a population of 93 recombinant inbred lines (RIL) from the cross between experimental line UC1113 (intermediate pasta quality) with the cultivar Kofa (excellent pasta quality). A total of 269 markers, including 23 SNP markers, were arranged on 14 linkage groups covering a total length of 2,140 cM. Samples from each RIL from five different environments were used for complete pasta quality testing and the results from each year were used for QTL analyses. The combined effect of different loci, environment and their interactions were analyzed using factorial ANOVAs for each trait. We identified major QTLs for pasta color on chromosomes 1B, 4B, 6A, 7A and 7B. The 4B QTL was linked to a polymorphic deletion in the Lpx-B1.1 lipoxygenase locus, suggesting that it was associated with pigment degradation during pasta processing. The 7B QTL for pasta color was linked to the Phytoene synthase 1 (Psy-B1) locus suggesting difference in pigment biosynthesis. QTLs affecting pasta firmness and cooking loss were detected on chromosomes 5A and 7B, and in both cases they were overlapping with QTL for grain protein content and wet gluten content. These last two parameters were highly correlated with pasta firmness (R > 0.71) and inversely correlated to cooking loss (R < -0.37). The location and effect of other QTLs affecting grain size and weight, gluten strength, mixing properties, and ash content are also discussed. © 2008 Springer-Verlag.