We’ve made a particular lettuce salad in our family for years. It’s called Spicy Italian Salad and packs a big punch of flavor from a blend of chopped salami, artichokes and homemade dressing. Mmmm!
So the other day, when I was thinking about freshening up pasta salad, the notion hit me. What if I converted my lettuce salad to “Spicy Italian Pasta Salad”!
I started with the salad ingredients, sans lettuce, then tossed in some halved cherry tomatoes (extra) Italian cheese and fresh basil ribbons.
Then I crossed my usual vinaigrette and the typical heavy mayo dressings for a creamy vinaigrette.
My family was in heaven since I don’t make pasta salad very often. The result was truly flavorful but without the heaviness of many pasta salads.
With picnic season coming up, having a nice pasta salad in your back pocket is important. And better yet, my “picky” daughter, now in her first grown up job, happily packed up a big container to take to work for lunch.
Picky kids devouring the leftovers? Now that’s a success story!
- • 12 ounces tricolor small pasta like fusilli
- • 1/2 red bell pepper diced
- • 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- • 1/2 cup sliced kalamata olives
- • 3 Tablespoons julienned basil
- • 1 cup cubed Toscano or other flavorful Italian cheese
- • 1 can Artichoke hearts
- • 1 cup chopped salami (about 8 ounces)
- • 1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- • ¼ cup olive oil
- • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- • ¼ cup light mayonnaise
- • 3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- • 1 Tablespoon Oregano
- • 1 Tablespoon dried Minced onion
- • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper or to taste
- Cook pasta until just al dente. Plunge into ice water to stop cooking.
- In a large bowl, toss together diced pepper, halved cherry tomatoes, sliced olives, julienned basil, cubed cheese, salami and artichokes.
- Whisk together dressing ingredients.
- Drain pasta, then add to salad ingredients. Add dressing and toss to combine
- Sprinkle shredded parmesan curls over top and serve.
Picnic Party Recipes
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- Lemon Dill Orzo Pasta Salad by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
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- Sourdough Sandwich Rolls by Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Spicy Italian Pasta Salad by Art of Natural Living
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