Looking for a scrumptious menu comprising an all in one dish of proteins, vegetables and nutrition? Here you are at the right place to improve your culinary skills like a pro in making a delicious bowl of Italian Pasta Salad with an Italian dressing to garnish over. This delicious salad is a meal itself. It’s loaded with grain, protein with salami, cheese and fresh veggies.
Ingredients for Italian Pasta Salad:
- 8 oz Rotini pasta (can also use tri-color)
- 6 oz Salami, sliced into strips
- 10 oz Cherry tomatoes, halved (3 cups or 1 pint)
- ½ English Cucumber, diced
- 1-2 medium Red Onion, diced
- 8 oz Fresh Mozzarella Pearls (or mozzarella balls halved)
- ½ cup Black Olives, pitted and sliced
- ½ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
- ½ cup Roasted Red Peppers, coarsely chopped
- 1/3 cup parsley, finely chopped
- 1 cup Italian Dressing
Ingredients for Italian Dressing:
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 1 Tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 garlic clove finely grated or pressed
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp dried parsley
- ½ tsp dried basil
- ¾ fine sea salt or added to taste
- ½ tsp black pepper or to taste
Homemade Italian Dressing
- In a mason jar combine ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil with three tablespoons of white vinegar and add ¼ cup of finely grated Parmesan cheese, one tablespoon of real mayo, one teaspoon of sugar to balance out that vinegar, and finely grate in one large garlic clove (you can also use a garlic press).
- For seasonings, use ½ a teaspoon each of oregano, parsley and basil, also ¾ teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of black pepper. Most store-bought salad dressings are saltier, so if you do like more salt, you can add the salt to taste.
- Cover that tightly with a lid and shake it up until it’s well combined. When made in a mason jar, you can make it ahead and it keeps really well in the refrigerator.
- Then before serving, just give it a good shake and you can add more salt if needed.
Italian Pasta Salad
- Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Casually add salt to the water and then add eight ounces of Rotini pasta and cook according to the package instructions, until its al dente or firm to the bite. It’s important that you don’t overcook the pasta. While the pasta is on the stove, you can prepare the rest of your ingredients. Make sure you have your timer set for your pasta.
- Slice up six ounces of salami into thin strips.
- Next cut in half 10 ounces or about three cups of cherry tomatoes. Use a serrated knife to get through tomato skins easily.
- Dice up half of an English Cucumber. What’s special about this salad is that you can use anything in your refrigerator. If you don’t like cucumber, you can also use bell pepper instead.
- Finally dice one medium red onion, so that it’ll all disappear into the salad.
- Next, you’ll need eight ounces of fresh mozzarella. Mozzarella pearls can be easier, as you don’t have to cut them. But you can also use mozzarella balls and cut those in half or use an eight ounces block of fresh mozzarella and just dice it up.
- Next prepare ½ a cup of black olives, pitted and sliced.
- Then add ½ a cup Kalamata olive. Make sure you get the ones that are pitted and just cut them in half.
- Also add ½ a cup of roasted red peppers, coarsely chop those up. And you can use store-bought roasted red peppers in a jar or you can roast your own.
- Finely chop 1/3 cup of fresh parsley.
- Check on the pasta and turn it off as soon as it reaches al dente. Then drain off the hot water right away and rinse under cold water until the pasta is completely cooled down. Rinsing the pasta in cool water does three important things: It stops the cooking process, removes excess starch, and cools down the pasta.
- Now just layer everything into a large salad bowl, starting with the pasta as a base.
- Finally, dress it up and to serve it or you could just cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it and it’ll last longer that way, before you are adding the dressing or you can dress it a couple hours before your event. The dressing will have some settling in it. Therefore, before serving, give it a good shake to combine everything back together and make sure it’s really smooth. And then generously add the dressing into the salad.
- Now toss the salad using two spoons, so that every bite is coated in that scrumptious dressing.