An Antipasto Pasta Salad loaded with hunks of cheese, pepperoni, salami, black olives, peppers, artichoke hearts and more. Dressed in a nutty and tangy simple, balsamic vinaigrette.
I’m always in search of great salads that I can bring to teacher luncheons, potlucks or barbecues, or honestly, make on Sunday and nosh on it all week long for lunch.
Post updated with fresh photos and content 6/12/2020.
Start with a good quality pasta, you can do tricolor or plain, though tricolor sure is pretty. You can use any type of pasta, just make sure it has some ridges or twists in it to help hold the dressing.
Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente, you don’t want it to fall apart in your salad.
While the pasta cooks, grab a nice big mixing bowl and begin by chopping the bell peppers. Any color peppers you like really, I like red, orange and yellow, plus add chopped English cucumbers for the green! YUMMY!
Chop the salami and pepperoni. Ideally it would be great to get the actual “sausage” and just dice, but I couldn’t find the ones I wanted, so used pre-sliced and chopped those up well.
Slice cheeses into cubes; try different cheeses, you can use just one, here I used both Asiago and Smoked Mozzarella, Provolone or regular mozzarella would have been delicious too.
SIMPLE BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE
In a hurry? Buy a good quality bottle of balsamic dressing. But this dressing is super easy to make!
What does emulsify mean?
What in the world is emulsify or an emulsion? Webster defines it as:
“A suspension of tiny droplets of one liquid in a second liquid. By making an emulsion, one can mix two liquids that ordinarily do not mix well, such as oil and water.”Webster Dictionary
Pour dressing over pasta, tossing occasionally, making sure the entire salad is coated in dressing. Add more or less dressing to taste, refrigerate any leftover dressing (if you have any) and use on any salad.
Cover and refrigerate until ready to eat, or may be served immediately, EVEN BETTER the next day! Mangia!
If you like this recipe, try these other fine salads.
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For the Salad
- 1 lb tricolor or plain fusilli (or other textured or twisty pasta)
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 1 orange bell pepper
- ½ green bell pepper and/or English cucumber chopped
- ¼ lb genoa salami, diced (good quality)
- ¼ lb pepperoni sausage, diced (good quality)
- 1 14 oz can brined or marinated artichoke hearts, quartered
- 6 oz can sliced black olives, drained
- ¼ lb asiago cheese, diced
- ¼ lb smoked mozzarella, diced (try different cheeses, smoke or regular provolone)
- ¾ cup olive oil
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, or a tablespoon dried
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- 1-2 teaspoons of sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- In a large pot, bring water to boil and cook pasta according to package directions, until al dente. Drain the pasta in a colander and rinse with cool water.
- Dice peppers, salami, pepperoni and cheeses and toss in large mixing bowl. Add olives and artichokes. Add cooked pasta and toss to mix.
- Mix all dressing ingredients in a jar with a covered lid, shake vigorously to emulsify.Pour over pasta salad (to taste, might use entire jar, might not). Taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed.
- Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Doubles or triples easily for a crowd, your dressing may not need to be doubled though.
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- Eddington 50012 Italian Olive Wood Salad Server, Handcrafted in Europe, 2-Piece Set, 13-Inches
- 9-Inch Handcrafted Indonesian Round Teak Wood Salad Serving Bowl
- Clear Glass Wavy Salad Bowl, Mixing Bowl, All Purpose Round Serving Bowl Salad/food Glass Bowls, Set of 5, One 10" and Four 5.25"
- Pyrex Smart Essentials Mixing Bowl Set Including Locking Lids (Clear), 8 piece
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 323Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 1024mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 10g
The nutritional information is estimated and may not be entirely accurate, at times it pulls information for suggestions and options which may increase calories, etc.