Today I’m showing you an easy version of pasta salad that includes a homemade Italian dressing. To start, you’ll need to bring a large pot of water to a boil on the stove.
Cook 1 pound of rotini pasta according to the package directions. You can also use tri-colored rotini, or penne or shells any bite-sized pasta will work. Once it finishes cooking, you’ll want to drain the pasta from the water and run it under cold water to cool the pasta off.
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While the pasta is cooking, we can go ahead and prep our other ingredients Like halving some cherry or grape tomatoes.
I have a great trick of halving tomatoes, All you need is a Tupperware lid. Just get a pile of tomatoes, put the lid on to hold them still, and gently press them down while you run a knife underneath and halve them all at once. It’ll make it a whole lot easier to halve an entire pint of cherry tomatoes. Next, you’ll need some mini mozzarella balls, and we are going to slice them in half.
Now, you can leave them whole, because, they are already pretty small, and you can halve them also so that I have more bites of mozzarella throughout my pasta salad. Next, go ahead and put together our dressing.
First, you’ll need 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar If you don’t have red wine vinegar, you could also use another mild vinegar like white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar. You’ll also need 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, and a pinch of red pepper flakes.
Whisk this all together, If you wanted to use a bottled Italian salad dressing, you’d need about 3/4 to 1 cup of dressing. Now, our pasta should be about done, so we can just pour that indirectly with our dressing. It actually saves us some dishes to make our dressing directly in the bowl, we’re going to put our pasta into.
All that’s left to do, is to add in our delicious toppings. So, we’ll add in all of that cheese and the tomatoes. We’ll grab the ones that fell there, and then we’ll add in some sliced black olives a red diced onion, 1 cup of mini pepperonis, and last of all some chopped peperoncinis.
I love the extra zing that the peperoncinis give to the pasta salad. And now, stir this together And since the dressing is on the bottom, you want to make sure you scoop all the way down so that everything gets mixed together. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving. FOR MORE INSTRUCTIONS, GO TO NEXT PAGE!
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- FOR PASTA:
- 1 pound rotini pasta
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 8 ounces fresh mini mozzarella cheese balls, halved
- 1/2 -1 cup sliced olives
- 1 cup mini pepperonis
- 1/2 cup pepperonicini, roughly chopped
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- ITALIAN DRESSING:
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 ) Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water until pasta is cooled.
2 ) In a large mixing bowl, make your dressing by whisking together olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, Italian seasoning, sugar, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes.
3 ) Add cooked pasta in with the Italian dressing. Toss with tomatoes, mozzarella, olives, mini pepperonis, pepperoncini, and onion.
4 ) Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving our delicious Italian pasta salad.