There are many recipes out there for pasta salad. I happen to like a little heartier pasta salad with meat and cheeses. It's probably the Italian in me. As you have probably picked up from reading this blog, I cook for my family's taste buds. So having said that, you will not find the usual sliced olives, onions or green peppers in this recipe. Feel free to make this recipe your own and add what you and your family like.
A note before I post the recipe...I do not have exact measurements for the ingredients. I kind of throw things together. I'll do my best to give amounts but if you feel it needs more or less of anything, go for it. The recipe below is the amount I make for a party as a side dish so it makes a lot.
Cindi's Antipasto Pasta Salad
- 1 box (12 oz. or 16 oz.)of bite sized pasta. I usually use tri-color rotini but this time I used farfalle (bow-ties). Both work well.
- 1 1/2 - 2 cups of broccoli florets, raw
- 1 1/2 - 2 cups of cauliflower florets, raw
- 1 medium cucumber, seeded and diced into large pieces
- 15 (approx.) grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 1/2 - 3/4 cup pepperoni, sliced thick and then cut into squares. Although this time I found "Hormel Pepperoni Minis" that was perfect for this dish. (You could also do 1/2 pepperoni and 1/2 hard salami if you like)
- 8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, cut into bite sized cubes
- 8 oz. mozzarella cheese, cut into bite sized cubes
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1-2 bottles (16 oz.) of Wishbone Robusto Italian Dressing
- Cook pasta in salted boiling water until al dente. Drain and rinse immediately under cold water to stop the cooking process.
- In a large bowl, add the pasta, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, pepperoni and cubed cheese and one bottle of dressing and mix well.
- Sprinkle in the grated Parmesan cheese a little at a time to prevent clumping and mix in. The cheese will absorb some of the dressing so if you feel you need to add more dressing at this time, go ahead and a little more. It should be wetter than you think because the pasta will absorb quite a bit of the dressing as it marinates.
- Lastly add the tomatoes and gently mix them so they can keep their form.
- Refrigerate the salad for several hours or overnight to blend the flavors.
- Before serving, stir well and if it seems too dry, add more dressing.
Thanks for stopping by my kitchen!