The Best Italian Pasta Salad

This Italian Pasta Salad is loaded with salami, pepperoni, cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, banana peppers, olives, basil, and tossed in an easy Italian dressing!


You’ll Need:

Salad

  • 1 pound penne pasta or similar
  • 3 slices Genoa salami cut 1/2 inch thick pieces and cubed
  • 1 cup halved pepperoni slices
  • 8 ounce mozzarella, cubed
  • 1/2 cup julienne cut sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup freshly chopped basil
  • 1 cup mild banana pepper slices, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup halved black olives
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • pinch red pepper flakes optional

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Instructions:

Salad

  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
  2. Drain under cold water. Set aside to cool.
  3. Once pasta has cooled, add pasta to a large bowl along with remaining salad ingredients.
  4. If not serving the salad right away, chill salad until ready to serve.


Dressing

  1. Add all the dressing ingredients except for the olive oil in a blender or food processor.
  2. While machine is running slowly stream in olive oil.
  3. Continue to blend until combined.
  4. Season dressing with salt and pepper.
  5. When ready to serve toss pasta salad with dressing.
  6. Season pasta salad with additional salt and pepper if necessary to taste.


NOTES:

  • I recommend making dressing ahead of time to allow the flavors to really blend together. When ready to serve pour most of the dressing over salad. Toss to coat. Add additional dressing if needed. I like to reserve a little dressing in case of leftovers. Store leftover salad in refrigerator. Add reserved dressing to leftovers if needed or just drizzle with a little olive oil if you used all of the dressing if needed.
  • I use California Sun-Dry Julienne Cut Sun-Dried Tomatoes for this recipe that you can find at most grocery stores.


Source: motherthyme.com

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