Pasta doesn’t make you fat. How much pasta you eat makes you fat. – Giada De Laurentiis
Hello my dear food loving friends, ready for my most famous and favorite dish?
Every summer, I look for excuses to make my pasta salad and every year it gets eaten in one sitting. No lie, I have friends who request this for small get-togethers all the way up to larger parties. And I always make sure there is enough to go around. Always.
So when the opportunity to bring a dish arose recently, I couldn’t help myself. I was already mentally making my pasta salad, and also warning my friends that it’s coming. Thus, I give you, my antipasto pasta salad.
- 4 boxes of bow tie or macaroni noodles
- 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise (I usually use Olive Oil Mayo)
- 1 cup Italian salad dressing (I like Ken’s Light Northern Italian)
- 2 Tbsp of garlic powder
- 1 1/2 cups olive oil
- 4 Tbsp vinegar (any kind)
- 1 Tbsp dried basil
- 1/4 cup Italian seasoning
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 package of Parmesan cheese, found usually in the refrigerated area next to Italian food aisle
- 1 package of Genoa salami (optional)
- 1/2 package Boar’s Head pepperoni (optional)
- 1 shallot (optional)
- 1 package of Nature Sweet Cherub tomatoes (optional)
- 1 package of sweet yellow tomatoes (optional)
- 1 English cucumber (optional)
- 1 can of sweet peas (optional)
- 1/2 can of black olives (diced, optional)
- 1 jar pepperoncini (optional)
- 1 jar artichoke hearts (optional)
Note, this recipe yields a LARGE portion of pasta salad. If you need less, half or quarter all ingredients.
Boil your water for your pasta and then dump the pasta in to cook. Normally, when you cook pasta, it will boil over due to the proteins and starches in the pasta itself. It not longer is a rolling boil but a foaming boil if you will. We’re not going to let that happen. If you have a wooden spoon, place it over the pot directly crossing the center and let the spoon sort of sag in the middle, this will help prevent from a foaming boil all over your kitchen top!
Now, chop you salami and place that to the side. You’re also going to chop your cucumber, tomatoes, and shallots. You can buy pre-sliced or chopped olives and the peas are fine on their own. Mix all the vegetables and the olives together and set aside, and that includes anything canned or jarred that isn’t meat. You have a lot of options and some will be delicious for you and others not so much. That’s what so amazing about this recipe, you get options! (I love options!!). Salami should be put in a separate container for this part.
Take the pasta off when it’s al dente. This means firm but not hard for those of you who don’t know.
With your pasta in a dish, drizzle with olive oil (not the oil as shown above). Mix with your hands (or spoon, hands may be easier) until it is saturated with oil. This will make sure the pasta wont stick together.
Put the pasta and all the ingredients in the fridge for a time period of no less than 2 hours to cool. That way it wont ruin your veggies or meat.
Next, you’re going to take the Italian dressing you chose, I personally always use Ken’s Light Northern Italian, but mix it up! Take the dress and mix it with the mayonnaise, the oil, the vinegar (I usually use red wine or apple cider). In a bowl, mix that up until it is a little bit runny but not terrible. If you need to, add more vinegar, oil, and dressing.
Next take the spices and one at a time add them making sure to stir them in individually so it all gets mixed in equally. Last take the cheese and add that, stirring it in completely as well. I always add more cheese than recommended and also more oregano and Italian seasoning.
Now comes the easy part, take your pasta and add the veggies and stir them in evenly, then do the same with the meat. With the dressing, you can either drizzle it and let it sit or stir it in all together. Up to you!
Serve on a hot day with a lot of hungry people. This stuff will go FAST! I promise!
Taylor, The Food Lover Gone Southern