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The BEST Pasta Salad

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Meet your new summer bestie:

A stupidly easy Italian pasta salad with rotini, juicy tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, red onion, salami, olives, herbs, and a drench of quick homemade Italian dressing.

If you want to know what I’ve eaten for 4 of my last 5 meals, it’s THIS SUMMER ESSENTIAL. We are kind of having a moment here.

In my mind, a nice classic pasta salad serves one of two scenarios:

Attending a picnic, potluck, or other end-of-summer-everyone-bring-something type party;

Addressing the leftover meat, cheese, and vegetables in my fridge and making them into a meal that I pretty much want to eat 24/7.

This pasta salad will do both for ya.

Just… some stuff.

It’s very flexible. These are my favorite pasta salad mix-ins:

Good, spicy salami. Yummy cheeses. Tomatoes or some other friendly non-threatening vegetable. Greens of some sort – even if it’s just fresh parsley. Olives and red onions and pepperoncini.

Also, we need pasta with good solid texture and shape to absorb all the sauce. I like rotini. (Also, DeLallo! It’s our favorite. The semi-rough texture Super easy Italian Pasta Salad – with pasta, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, spicy salami, pepperoncini, olives, and easy Italian dressing. DANGEROUSLY GOOD.

Scale

Ingredients

Pasta Salad Essentials:

1 pound uncooked pasta – I like rotini!

3 cupcherry tomatoes, cut in half

8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese balls, cut in half

1 lb. salami or summer sausage, cut into cubes

3/4 cup kalamata olives, sliced

3/4 cup pepperoncini (optional, but do it)

1/2 cup sliced red onion

1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Italian Pasta Salad Dressing:

1 1/2 cupolive oil

1/4 cup white vinegar (white vinegar or red wine vinegar work)

1/4 cup water

2 tablespooncoarse sea salt (yes, tablespoons – see notes!)

2 cloves garlic (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons each dry oregano and dry basil

black pepper to taste

fresh herbs if you want! sometimes I add fresh parsley, basil, or chives.

Instructions

Cook pasta according to package directions, in salted water for more flavor. Allow to cool slightly and toss with a little oil to prevent sticking.

Blend up the dressing, or shake together in a jar.

Toss all ingredients together! I like to use about three-fourths of the dressing, and then I save the rest of the dressing to add to my leftovers.

Keep in the fridge for 2-3 days. I think it actually tastes best the day AFTER you make it.

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