My love for pasta salad runs DEEP, but this one is just something special.
This lovely red wine vinaigrette soaks into the al dente pasta, and results in the most addicting chilled pasta salad. My husband always asks for this one because he’s not a massive fan of mayo-induced pasta salads. This is the one you want to break out for those people in your life who hate mayo. Side note: you should probably also reevaluate your relationship(s) with said people.
Let’s just get it out the way, Italians always know what’s best food-wise. So gimme all the olives, salami, marinated artichokes, roasted red peppers, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, and so on. This meal is legit low-key/low-maintenance. You can easily play around with the ingredients, based on preference or what you have on hand; it will still taste incredible!
My favorite thing about this dish is its make-ahead quality. Recipes I can whip up the night before allows me flexibility and time to plan, which automatically makes them superior (in my heart at least).
Loaded Antipasto Pasta Salad
- 1 large pot
- 1 large bowl
- 1 medium bowl
- 1 whisk
- 1 wooden spoon
Red Wine Vinaigrette
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp sugar may sub honey
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 tsp dried oregano heaping
- 2 tbsp fresh basil chiffonade or chopped
- kosher salt to taste
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- ¾ lb dry, short pasta noodles like rotini, penne, or gemelli
- 1 cup jarred artichokes left quartered
- 1 cup salami quartered and chopped; or 90 g sliced
- 1 cup black olives may sub for whatever olives you have on-hand
- 1 cup small variety tomatoes halved
- 1 cup fresh mozzarella cut, torn, or mozza balls
- ¼ cup jarred roasted red peppers sliced
- ⅛ cup red onion thinly sliced
- fresh basil a few leaves for garnish
- Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add 2 heaping tablespoons of kosher salt, stir, and return water to a roaring boil. Add pasta and cook as per package instructions until al dente. DO NOT OVERCOOK!
- Meanwhile, let's make the red wine vinaigrette. In a medium bowl, whisk together red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, garlic, sugar, dried oregano, about ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Slowly drizzle in the extra-virgin olive oil while whisking vigorously, until emulsified.
- Drain the pasta and do not rinse; we want to keep all the starch on the pasta. Transfer pasta to a large bowl and toss with the vinaigrette. Let this cool for on the counter or 15 minutes and then pop in the fridge for 30 minutes (you can skip this step if you're in a rush).
- Remove chilled pasta from the fridge and add artichokes, salami, roasted red peppers, olives, tomatoes, mozzarella, and red onion; toss until well-combined.
- Garnish with a few small basil leaves and serve. If you're making this recipe ahead of time (highly recommend), just cover and pop it in the fridge until you're ready to enjoy.