Italian Pasta Salad Recipe
A great transitional dish into the fall time, this Italian Pasta Salad is made with Mediterranean ingredients and is delicious, nutritious, and easy to make! It is packed with so much flavor and provides you with the right nutrients to have energy throughout your day. It is not only the perfect side dish for a meal, but a great option to have while watching a big football game! But the best part is that this dish tastes even better the next day after the flavors have time to marinate.
- Pasta - use your favorite shape of pasta. I like to rotini or fusilli because of how it holds on to the delicious Italian dressing in every crevice, bringing all the flavors in each bite.
- Salami - or you can substitute with pepperoni ($8.99/lb. of Cloverdale Tangy Summer Sausage Chubs, this week at Fresh)
- Grape tomatoes
- Bell peppers - you can use any combination of bell peppers that you want. I like including red peppers because of the pop of color it adds. (89 cents/lb. of Green Peppers, this week at Fresh)
- Red onion
- Kalamata black olives - you can also substitute with regular black olives, if you prefer.
- Bocconcini mozzarella balls
- Fresh parsley
- Italian dressing - feel free to use store-bought dressing or make your own Homemade Italian Salad Dressing in minutes. ($1.69 for Our Family Salad Dressing in assorted varieties, this week at Fresh)
- Parmesan cheese ($5.99 for Our Family Shredded Cheese in assorted varieties, this week at Fresh Madison)
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST ITALIAN PASTA SALAD
- Make the pasta. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 8-10 minutes or according to package instructions. Drain and rinse pasta under cold water to stop the cooking process and to cool the pasta down.
- Toss ingredients. Transfer the pasta to a large mixing bowl or serving bowl. If not assembling the salad immediately, add some olive oil and toss together to prevent the pasta from sticking together. Otherwise, add remaining ingredients. Pour Italian salad dressing on top, and toss to combine.
- Serve or chill. You can serve immediately with Parmesan on top, or cover the bowl tightly with plastic cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. This will allow all the flavors to infuse into each other. When ready to serve, give the salad a good toss and add a little more dressing, if desired.