This recipe for easy antipasto pasta salad combines two Italian courses (the antipasto and the pasta course) in one plate. The first time I made this salad it was out of necessity. I needed to re-purpose leftovers from a huge antipasto platter from the night before, to make a quick lunch. Pasta is always a standby for me, so I cooked some short-shaped pasta and tossed it with the leftover antipasti and a bright, assertive dressing. The result was a very satisfying dish.
This is the kind of summer salad to which you can add whatever you might have on hand. Marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped, would be great addition, as would roasted red peppers, cut in strips. Leftovers are delicious the next day, served at room temperature or even cold. You can replace the Provolone for Asiago cheese or chunks of Parmesan and add some prosciutto instead of the salami. Either way, give this mayo-free salad a try and bring it to your next picnic or backyard gathering–it is sure to be a real crowd pleaser!
This is my last post before I head to Greece. Next time you receive a blog post from me it will be from the other side of the Atlantic. My photographic gear is packed and ready to go and I look forward to sharing with you photos from my summer Greek adventure!
Ingredients for Easy Antipasto Pasta Salad
- For the Dressing:
- 2 garlic cloves, grated in a microplane or minced
- ½-1 tsp. salt
- ¼-½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 TBSP. red wine vinegar
- 3 TBSP. extra virgin olive oil
- For the Pasta Salad:
- 12 oz. pasta cooked al dente
- 1 TBSP. of olive oil
- ¼ cup salami, cut into cubes
- ½ cup sharp provolone cheese, cut into cubes
- 3 peperoncini, stem and seeds removed, chopped
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
- ¼ cup mixed olives, pitted, cut in half
- 3 TBSP. red onion, minced
- --- fresh basil leaves
- In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the dressing. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon of sea salt. Add the pasta and cook it until al dente (usually a few minutes less than the package directions). Drain well and rinse under cold water.
- Transfer the pasta back to the pot, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and toss well so the pasta does not stick. Let it cool completely.
- Add the chopped salami, provolone, peperoncini, cherry tomatoes and red onion. Toss gently to combine and drizzle with the dressing. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Garnish with the fresh basil leaves and serve.
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