I’m not sure what I like best about this salad. Is it the pasta, tossed in an olive oil, herb and garlic vinaigrette? Or is it all the meats, cheese, olives, artichokes and pepperoncini added in? It really doesn’t matter because it’s all just so crazy good together. This salad has so many fantastic layers of flavors that you’ll be wishing for more after just one bite.
Jam packed with tons of delicious, chopped ingredients, this pasta dish is more like a meal than a salad and I actually planned it that way. My plan was to have a hearty salad that would give me all the fuel I needed during a busy day along with maximum flavor. Well…I hit the nail on the head. Not only is this salad loaded with classic Italian ingredients, but the olive oil dressing is also what totally makes this salad.
Since I was making this salad just for me, well, not really, I shared with several friends, I put in all the things I like from my favorite Italian deli. Smokey ham, salami, briny olives, which of course I had to have both green and black ones were my first picks. I also added in some thinly sliced onion, marinated artichokes, and slightly hot pepperoncini. See, I’m the only one in this house that likes anything pickled, so when Mr. travels, I go hog wild with ingredients of my liking.The whole salad takes just a few minutes to make since you are just chopping a few ingredients, shaking the dressing and cooking the pasta. Once all the yummy ingredients are chopped and while the pasta was cooking, I made the dressing. It’s incredibly simple with everything coming together in a mason jar. Olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice are flavored with lots of herbs, salt, and pepper. Once your salad is tossed together, just pour on the dressing and let all that pasta soak up the flavor. Here’s how I enjoy it ~ I load up mason jars with my salad, toss in a few leaves of butter lettuce, screw on the lid and store in the fridge. When I’m on the go or working from home, I just open up my “salad jar” and dig in!
Italian Pasta Salad
- 1 lb (box) pasta
- 1 cup marinated artichokes
- 1 cup black olives
- 1 cup stuffed green olives
- 1 cup pepperocini
- 1 cup ham
- 1 cup salami
- 1 cup onion - thinly sliced
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese - grated
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley - chopped
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup lemon-juice
- 1 teaspoon garlic - minced
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- In a large pot filled with water, cook pasta according to package directions. While water comes to a boil, roughly chop the artichokes, olives, pepperocini, ham and salami.
- In a jar fitted with a lid, add olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, herbs, salt and pepper. Screw on lid and shake jar until all ingredients are emulsified.
- When pasta is cooked, drain and rinse, then add back to pasta pot. Add in all chopped ingredients and gently mix. Pour on half of dressing and toss. Sprinkle on parsley and cheese, add remaining dressing and toss to combine. Spoon onto platter or large bowl to serve immediately or store in refrigerator in an airtight container.