Italian Pasta Salad

The next recipe in this week’s In Season: Summer series is a classic! And Italian Pasta Salad is a classic for a reason. Whether you choose to use a traditional cured meat like the called-for salami, or something cleaner like a nitrate-free turkey pepperoni, this cool summer salad is addicting!

The vinaigrette combines salty and acidic notes. It brings out those same flavor profiles in the other ingredients, like the brine of the olives, the salt of the meats, and the acid of the tomatoes. The crunch of the fresh veggies and onion balances the smoothness of the cheese chunks and the tooth of the pasta. This balanced salad really is the perfect dish to bring to a picnic or day at the beach!

TIP: this enormous recipe could feed a small country, something I seem to forget every single time I make it!

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Italian Pasta Salad
(Original recipe: Spend With Pennies)

16 oz rotini, uncooked
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 orange bell pepper, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1 cup fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed
1/3 cup red onion, diced
8 oz salami (or other preferred cured meat), chopped
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
3 TBSP fresh parsley, chopped
Salt & pepper to taste

Italian Vinaigrette
3/4 cup olive oil
3 TBSP red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
Pepper to taste

Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions. Rinse under cold water.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Add vinaigrette and toss. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

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