Warm weather has finally arrived. Days are getting longer… and I’m finally waking up to color. The gray of winter ice is gone and the lake has come alive with nature and plenty of recreational activity. Mornings have been starting off with a calm tranquility before the action begins. I thought I’d share a little piece of my mornings lately in this part of the world here in Madison, Wisconsin, USA…
Yesterday I made this Antipasto Pasta Salad that we love. I originally got the recipe off of a food message board where it received rave reviews. There are a lot of recipes for antipasto salads, but once I started making it this way, I never looked back. It has such great flavors running through it that it’s a hit everywhere I take it… and a regular in the summertime at our own house. Let the summer begin!
Antipasto Pasta Salad
1 pound seashell pasta (I use orecchiette pasta)
1/4 pound Genoa salami, chopped
1/4 pound pepperoni sausage, chopped
1/2 pound Asiago cheese, diced
1 (6 ounce) can black olives, drained and chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped (I use yellow)
3 tomatoes, chopped (or equivalent in grape tomates or cherry tomatoes, halved)
(Optional: thinly sliced red onion)
1 (.7 ounce) package dry Italian-style salad dressing mix
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
salt and ground black pepper to taste
Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain, and cool under cold water.
In a large bowl, combine the pasta, salami, pepperoni, Asiago cheese, black olives, red bell pepper, green bell pepper and tomatoes. Stir in the envelope of dressing mix. Cover, and refrigerate for at least one hour.
To prepare the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, oregano, parsley, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Just before serving, pour dressing over the salad, and mix well.