Monday, September 29, 2008

Pasta Salad with Homemade Dressing

{print this recipe}

This pasta salad is fantastic!  It's a huge hit at family parties and I'm often asked to bring it for events.  There is a lot of chopping and prep time but it is worth it!!  I leave the olives whole and yes... I can probably be found picking out my favorite pieces to eat while I prepare the salad.  Shhhh... don't tell!

Prep Time: 45 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Ready In: 8 Hours 55 Minutes
Yields: 8 servings

1 (8 ounce) package uncooked tri-color rotini pasta
6 ounces pepperoni sausage, diced
6 ounces provolone cheese, cubed
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 small cucumber, thinly sliced
3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 (6 ounce) can pitted black olives
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard seed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add rotini pasta, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente. Drain, and rinse with cold water.
2. In a large bowl, mix the cooled pasta, pepperoni, provolone cheese, red onion, cucumber, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, olives, parsley, and Parmesan cheese.
3. In a jar with a lid, mix the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, basil, oregano, ground mustard, salt, and pepper. Seal jar, and shake well.
4. Pour the dressing mixture over the pasta salad, reserving just a bit to be added just before serving. Toss to coat. Cover, and chill 8 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Pour reserved dressing if salad is too dry.

Kitchen Tip
Using a madolin slicer makes for very quick, even slicing. I use mine all the time!

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