Whether you are going to a friends house for a get together or you need to bring a side to your family dinner, sometimes it is a struggle trying to decide what to make. I always find myself scrolling on my phone looking for new recipes to try, but there is always the fear in the back of my head of “will they like this?” With so many dietary restrictions and/or pallets to please, sometimes it can be a challenge finding a recipe to please a crowd.
Over Labor Day Weekend my parents hosted a big seafood boil, which will have to be a post for another day. Unfortunately, I didn’t get many pictures because a hail storm struck a midst the cooking process, leaving 3 grown men to huddle around the turkey fryer (what we used for the seafood boil) under 1 umbrella. HA! We will have to do another boil in the future so I can blog about it, but I think we will both need to check the radar first!
Anyway, my mom asked me to bring a pasta salad, which I thought was an odd request for the creole theme, but I went for it. This Antipasto Pasta Salad came to me while I was in the middle of a conference call at my day job. Whoops! I always find my mind wandering to food. 🙂
My favorite noodles are the “corkscrew” noodles, otherwise known as Cellentani. In my opinion, whether it’s mac n cheese or a pasta salad, these are the best noodles for a nice full fork to shovel in your mouth. As an added challenge, my sister-in-law requested black olives. Using these two requests, I picked the rest of the ingredients and went the Italian route. I am happy to report this antipasto pasta salad was both kid and adult approved!
What is the difference between this pasta salad and all of the other pasta salad recipes out there? I used asiago cheese, which adds a sharp rich flavor. I will never make an Italian pasta cheese with any other cheese again. This was a total game changer.
One last added bonus for this dish is that it can be made ahead of time. In fact, I recommend making this hours before you dig in, to allow the flavors to blend together and the noodles soak in some of the dressing. YUM!!
Antipasto Pasta Salad
- 1 lb Cellentani pasta
- 1/4 lb Genoa salami*** cubed
- 1/4 lb Pepperoni*** cubed
- 8 oz Asiago cheese wedge cubed
- 3 oz Black olives drained and sliced
- 1 Red bell pepper diced
- 1 Green bell pepper diced
- Cherry tomatoes quartered
- Pepperoncini peppers [optional]
- 1 bottle Kraft Zesty Italian dress (use about 8oz)
- Parsley for garnish
- Oregano for garnish
- In a large pot, cook the pasta until al dente according to package. Drain, cool under cold water and set aside to let excess water drip.
- In a large bowl, combine the chopped meats, cheese, and vegetables. pasta, salami, pepperoni, Stir in about 1/4 cup of dressing. Cover, and refrigerate for at least one hour. Add another 1/4ish cup of dressing.
- Garnish with fresh herbs and serve.
I’d love to hear from you once you get the chance to make this recipe. Leave a comment below with your review or share any modifications you made to this recipe!