Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Pasta Salad

I found this recipe here a few years ago.  I made it for my niece's high school graduation party and it was a big hit.  I just made it again this passt weekend for our Girl's Night Out group wine tasting day lunch.  Again it was a hit.  I adapted the recipe a bit from the original.  It is super easy, but you do need to start it the day before so it can sit overnight.  It is a great party salad because it is not a mayo based pasta salad so it can sit out.  Enjoy!

Antipasto Pasta Salad - Serves 12

1 pound pasta shells (I use bow tie)
1/4 pound salami, chopped
1/2 pound Asiago cheese, diced
1 (6 oz) can black olives, drained and chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
2 tomatoes, seeds removed, chopped
1 (.7 oz) package of dry italian-style salad dressing mix
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. dried parsley
1 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

1.  Cook the pasta until al dente.  Drain, and cool under cold water.

2.  In a large bowl, combine the pasta, salami, Asiago cheese, black olives, bell peppers and tomatoes.  Stir in envelope of dressing mix.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  (the original recipe says you can refrigerate for an hour, but I have never done that).

3.  To prepare the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, oregano, parsley, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.  Taste the dressing to make sure the flavor is right; I have added more balsamic so it is not too olive oily.  Pour over pasta mixture, stir to coat well.

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