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Best Italian Pasta Salad Recipe

Best Italian Pasta Salad Recipe

Will Dickey

No summer cookout is complete without a great one pasta salad, and this Italian pasta salad is just the ticket! It’s packed with flavorful Italian ingredients like salami, mozzarella, and olives tossed in a pesto dressing, so it’s the perfect way to satisfy cravings for classic Italian dinner flavors in a summery recipe that’s ready to party!

What’s in Italian Pasta Salad?

There’s so much to love about this flavorful pasta salad. Fresh mozzarella adds a lot to this dish, so look for a ball of fresh mozzarella that can be cut into small pieces or a packet of mozzarella pearls that are perfectly bite-sized. Salami is another powerfully flavored ingredient that adds great flavor; buy it cut from the deli or cut the slices yourself to adjust the thickness. Fresh ingredients such as cherry tomatoes, peppers and many spices all add juiciness, crunch and brightness.

Which pasta is good in Italian pasta salad?

Any pasta shape is perfect for this recipe. Rotini is a good choice because the tight spirals take up all the spicy, pesto-flecked dressing, but penne, cavatappi, rigatoni, or even large scallops would be great with these classic Italian ingredients.

Can Italian pasta salad be made ahead of time?

Absolute! The pasta salad is even tastier when standing, so feel free to make it a day ahead and store it in the fridge in a sealed container. A tip: add the fresh herbs just before serving so they don’t lose their vibrant colour, and toss the salad well to redistribute the dressing that has settled in the bottom of the bowl.

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Yields:

10 – 12


portions

Preparation time:

0

hour

15

minutes

Total time:

0

hour

15

minutes

For the dressing:

1/3 c.

Red wine vinegar

1/2 tsp.

ground black pepper

1c.

extra virgin olive oil

For pasta salad:

1 lb.

rotini pasta, cooked and cooled

1 pt.

cherry tomatoes, halved

1c.

thinly sliced ​​baby peppers

1/2 c.

grated Parmesan cheese, plus more to serve

1/2 c.

chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish

1/4 c.

chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish

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  1. For the dressing: Whisk together the vinegar, pesto, garlic, salt and pepper. Gradually add the olive oil, stirring constantly until blended. Put aside.
  2. For the pasta salad: Add the cooked pasta to a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, salami, mozzarella, olives, bell pepper, onion, Parmesan cheese, salt, basil and parsley. Whisk the dressing one more time, then pour it over the salad, stirring to combine.
  3. Just before serving, sprinkle with more chopped basil, parsley, and Parmesan cheese, if you’d like.

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