This is the ‘classic’ or original (close to it, anyway) Pasta Salad.
Think of it as the mother of all pasta salads, dating back to the late ’70′s.
I make lots of pasta salads all summer long, but for a proper picnic, summer party or family reunion, this is my favorite. With no dairy there are no worries about transporting it or leaving it on the table (within reason, of course).
The original called for bottled “Italian Dressing” but I prefer to make my own. It’s a great salad to take to a pot-luck picnic or to plan on leftovers.
The key to this pasta salad is to marinate the vegetables in the dressing to allow them to absorb the flavors.
Italian Picnic Pasta Salad
Preparation and cooking time: 35 minutes
- 6oz (200gr) sliced, hard salami
- 1 red onion
- 1 cup green olives (or Greek dry-cured, kalamata, whatever you like) I used 1/2 green and 1/2 Greek
- 4oz (125gr) mushrooms
- 2 ribs celery
- 1 cup (6oz, 180gr) cherry tomatoes
- 1 green bell pepper or any color
- 2 cups bite-size pasta, farfalle, elbow macaroni, fusilli, shells
- 1 tbs olive oil
- Italian Vinaigrette:
- 1/2 tbs Dijon-style mustard
- 2 tbs white wine (tarragon) vinegar
- 1 tbs lemon juice
- 5 tbs salad olive oil
- 1 tsp snipped fresh chives
- 1 tsp chopped fresh oregano
- 1 tsp chopped fresh basil
- 1 tsp chopped fresh parsley
- Cut salami in half or into quarters.
- Peel and quarter the onion, then slice thinly.
- Clean mushrooms and slice.
- Cut olives in halves or thirds.
- Put salami, mushrooms, onions and olives into bowl and add vinaigrette. Allow to marinate, at room temperature, for 1 – 3 hours.
- Cook pasta according to package instructions.
- When done, drain, put into a large bowl (or back into the cooled pot) and toss with olive oil.
- Slice celery 1/4″ (.5cm) thick, cut cherry tomatoes in half, and chop pepper.
- Add all three to pasta and toss lightly.
- Before serving add marinated vegetables to pasta and toss to combine.
- If not serving immediately, refrigerate to chill.
- Italian Vinaigrette:
- Place mustard, vinegar and lemon juice in a small bowl and whisk to combine.
- Slow add olive oil, whisking constantly, to combine.
- When all oil is in and emulsified, add herbs.
Try a weekly menu plan to take some of the stress out of a busy week. Print out the shopping list on Thursday and dinners for the week are ready to go… Well, except for the cooking that is….
But once you have the plan and the recipes, cooking is easy. Check out one of the menus for this week: 7-Day menu with 2 easy first courses.
Just looking for recipes: Meander through the Recipe Index.