The other night Jesse and I were headed to a friends engagement party and I was asked to make a side dish for a potluck style dinner – like a pasta salad. Of course I immediately knew which pasta salad I would make because it is Jesse’s favorite and my mom and aunt made it for a dish at our wedding [Shout out to my MOM & AUNT for all their hard work on my wedding!!!]
This is a super simple pasta to make and it’s really easy to substitute ingredients if you don’t like the Tuscan/Mediterranean influence. Here’s what you need:
- 1 pound of pasta
- 1/3 bag of Salami, chopped
- 1/3 large red onion, sliced thin
- 1/2 jar Kalamata olives
- 18oz jar Artichoke Hearts
- 2/3 of 8.5oz jar sun-dried tomatoes
- Italian dressing — 1/8 cup to 1/4 cup depending on your preference
But make sure you get mozzarella, because I forgot the mozzarella and it wasn’t even the same without it!
So first, cook your pasta, any pasta that you like will work! Cook according to the packages instructions, but do not over cook so keep an eye on it. When the pasta is finished, drain it and set it aside in a large bowl to cool off. You can put it in the fridge if you’d like. Drizzle a little olive oil over the pasta to keep it from sticking together.
As the pasta cools, begin slicing the other ingredients. You’ll want to slice your onion in super thin strips, then you’ll want to soak it in salt water. I read in my Food Network Magazine that soaking onions in salt water will help take the bite out of them — no one likes onion breath!
Next I sliced up my salami. It was harder to slice than I anticipated so it ended up getting chopped into random sized chunks. Then the artichoke hearts were a little large so I chopped them in half lengthwise. Everything else could be tossed in the salad as is.
Grab your bowl of pasta, add the chopped salami, the rinsed slices of onion, kalamata olives, mozzarella balls, sun-dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts. Toss then add the Tuscan Italian dressing, toss again. Your pasta is now ready to eat!
The great part about this pasta is that you can substitute some of the ingredients to your liking. You can use black olives instead of kalamata olives or red and yellow cherry tomatoes instead of sun-dried tomatoes. The dressing is very flexible as well, any Italian dressing works great, or balsamic vinegar dressing.
Make this for your next potluck dinner and I promise you won’t be disappointed — I hope you enjoy!