Antipasto Pasta Salad

Here's one of the dishes I made for my son's graduation party. It's a crowd pleaser that can be made a day or two ahead of time.  If you're serving it right away, just mix it all up and enjoy!

Pasta salad

NOTE: I'm getting ready to make this for a Mother's Day potluck.  I'm happy to see that I started this post almost a year ago…and now I have an opportunity to finish it.  Happy Mother's Day to all my fellow Moms.  Now for the recipe!

Boil 1 pound of your favorite noodles for a pasta salad per directions on box.  I prefer rotini (as pictured).  Be careful not to overcook pasta to avoid having a mushy pasta salad.  Give the pasta a rinse in cold water when done and let drain.

You can really add anything to this salad. Today's dish will have different ingredients than the photo above from my son's graduation party.

I like to buy pre-sliced items whenever possible for this dish – just to make things easier…especially on Mother's Day!  Here are some tasty things to consider adding to your antipasto salad:

  • sliced salami cut into strips 
  • thinly sliced prosciutto (I would use pre-packaged prosciutto) for this recipe)
  • smoked turkey
  • herb marinated or smoked mozzarella cut into bite sized pieces
  • provolone 
  • Parmesan
  • marinated artichoke hearts
  • sundried tomatoes marinated in olive oil and Italian spices
  • cherry tomatoes
  • fresh or roasted red peppers (any peppers)
  • sliced olives
  • chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • green onion
  • thawed frozen peas
  • diced purple onion
  • fresh chopped basil 
  • fresh chopped oregano
  • red pepper flakes

I seriously use this as an opportunity to clean out my pantry and fridge.  If you have a little left over jar of roasted red peppers or garlic stuffed olives in your fridge, waiting to be enjoyed, add it to the dish!  I start with adding the meat(s) to the dish and stir with each ingredient.  I would love to add some of the fresh Puget Sound spotted shrimp that we grilled last night – but my hubby is saving that for tonight's dinner.

You can make the dressing as simple as simple as using some Italian dressing or you can whip up  your own.  I like to use blend the following with a hand mixer:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1-2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 T of dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup red wine, white balsalmic or sherry vinegar (or combo!)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • salt and pepper

Stir into the salad.  Refrigerate for one hour before serving.  If I find that the salad needs more dressing, I may add a little mayo or pre-bottled salad dressing just prior to serving.

Enjoy!

1 Comment

  1. I love pasta its one of my favorite dish & i always wants to try new recipes i like your recipe & dish so i’ll going to make this in my dinner tonight !!

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