8ouncesfresh mozzarella cheesepearls (or chopped into pieces if you can't find pearls)
8ouncessalamichopped, or substitute summer sausage)
6ouncesblack olives, sliced
1/2red onion, diced
1 1/2cupscherry tomatoes, halved
2Tablespoonsfresh parsley leaveschopped
1/2cupfreshly grated parmesan cheese
pepperoncinis, sliced (optional)
For the Italian Salad Dressing (or substitute about 1 1/2 cups bottled zesty italian dressing):
1/4cupred wine vinegar
2teaspoonsdried parsley flakes
2teaspoonsdried minced onion
2teaspoonsfresh lemon juice
1teaspoondried oregano leaves
1/4teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper
Make the salad dressing by combining all ingredients. Store the dressing in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Shake before using.
For the pasta salad:
Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain water and rinse pasta with cold water. Allow it to cool for at least 10 minutes.
Add pasta to a large bowl and pour half of the salad dressing over it. Toss to combine. Add remaining ingredients and dressing and toss everything to combine.
Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or longer, before serving. Store in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.
Make Ahead Instructions: Italian Pasta Salad can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.Meat/Protein: add cooked chopped ham or chicken, for additional protein.Veggie substitutions: Add chopped bell pepper, shredded carrot, or cooked sautéed veggies, like zucchini, asparagus, broccoli, or any other veggies you like.MeatlessItalian Pasta Salad: Leave the meat out and add extra vegetables!Swap the noodles: use bowtie, penne, or any favorite bite-size noodles.