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THE BEST PASTA SALAD

Ingredients

  • 1 lb orecchiette
  • 1/4 lb. hard salami, cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 lb. sliced pepperoni, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 lb. provolone cheese, cut into small cubes
  • 3 oz. Gorgonzola cheese
  • 3 oz. Feta cheese
  • 1/4 red onion, sliced thin
  • 6 pepperoncini, cut into pieces
  • 1 large roma tomato, diced
  • 1/2 seedless cucumber, diced
  • 1/4 C Kalamata olives
  • 1/4 C green olives
  • dash of red pepper flakes
  • 3 to 4 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
  • FOR THE DRESSING:
  • 1/2 C light olive oil
  • 5 TBLS white wine or champagne vinegar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 TBLS garlic powder
  • 2 TBLS Italian seasoning blend
  • pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 3 TBLS freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 TBLS fresh chopped parsley (optional)
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Spring has sprung, and even though I enjoy comfort food, I thought it might be a good idea to create a few seasonal recipes. At first, I thought of doing this as a salad with iceberg or romaine lettuce (which you can do by the way), I decided to go the pasta route. Now that we are sheltering-in-place, I felt that the pasta will hold up to the dressing for a few days, unlike the lettuce. I just so happened to have some of my favorite pasta from Delallo hanging out in my pantry. I like using the orecchiette, as the “ears” hold in the ingredients and dressing. You can use any pasta in your pantry to create the best pasta salad.

You can serve as a side dish, or as a meal with grilled chicken. I even made my own homemade dressing. I used some of my favorite “antipasto” ingredients…feel free to add some of your favorites!

a white bowl filled with the best pasta salad

Cook your pasta to al dente. Do NOT forget to salt your water. Drain (do not rinse), and allow to cool. While the pasta is cooking, prep the other ingredients.

ingredients for the best pasta salad in bowls on a wooden board

Combine all of the ingredients for the dressing in a jar or bowl and mix well. I used an Italian Herb seasoning blend from Delallo…click here to view.

Once the pasta has cooled, place in a large bowl. Mix with a tablespoon or so of the dressing. Add in the prepped ingredients, along with the dressing. Gently toss to coat. If you need more dressing, just mix up a bit more…it will last in the fridge up to a week.

Garnish with a touch more crushed red pepper and fresh basil. Serve as a side dish, or as a meal. This will be one of the best pasta salads you ever made. ENJOY!!!

a big white bowl full of the best pasta salad

Love side dish salads? Check out my potato salad…perfect with grilled hot dogs, burgers, and even fried chicken!

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