Antipasto Pasta Salad

We recently visited family in New York and were over served with delicious Italian food all week long. Our favorite kind of vacation. Kidd’s side of the family is well known for cooking up many specialty Italian dishes and we spent the week being spoiled with meal after meal of our favorite dishes. With grilling season on its way, we thought we would take some of the classic Italian ingredients we love – salami, pepperoni, and mozzarella – and combine them into a big bowl of pasta salad. This pasta salad is hearty, indulgent and everything you want in a savory side dish. It’s perfect to serve in the summer for a cookout or as a main dish for family dinner.

Antipasto Pasta Salad

  • Servings: 8 side servings
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All of our favorite classic Italian ingredients combined to make a perfect pasta salad.

Pasta Salad Ingredients

  • 1 lb bow tie pasta
  • 1 lb salami, sausage style
  • 1 lb pepperoni, sausage style
  • 1 can black olives
  • 1 can artichoke hearts
  • 16 oz fresh mozzarella
  • fresh parsley, chopped

Dressing Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbs Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the pasta salad ingredients. Chop the remaining ingredients (salami through mozzarella) into bite sized pieces. Place the ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Once the pasta is finished cooking, toss the warm pasta with the pasta salad ingredients. Add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and Italian seasoning and mix well to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste and top with fresh parsley. You can serve this pasta salad warm or refrigerate it if you are making it in advance. Bring it back to room temperature before serving.


Farmers’ Market Brown Butter Orzo

Our inspiration for this recipe came from a weekend trip to the farmers’ market. There are so many fresh vegetables available this time of year, and we took a few things we bought and turned them into an orzo salad. This pasta has everything we love about summer- zucchini, tomatoes, and fresh corn- combined and tossed together with a delicious brown butter sauce. The sauce gives the veggies a decadent richness and makes the dish really pop. We topped the orzo with fresh basil and feta for the ultimate summer side dish. We like to serve this warm right after it is finished, but it also refrigerates well and leftovers can be served at room temperature.

Brown Butter and Orzo Salad
Makes: 8 side servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb orzo
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 3 tbs garlic, minced
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 2 ears of corn removed from husk
  • 1 green zucchini
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 1 pound cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • 1 bunch of basil, chiffonaded

Directions:

  1. Cook the orzo per package directions; about 10 minutes for most varieties.
  2. While the orzo is cooking, melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Once it is nice and bubbly, add the garlic and onion. Sauté for 5 minutes until the onion is translucent. Add the corn and cook 5 more minutes. Remove from the heat.
  3. Chop the squash, cucumber and tomato into bite sized pieces. Combine in a bowl with the orzo. Pour the butter sauce over the top of the orzo and mix until all ingredients are well incorporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Top with the feta and basil. This dish can be served warm or be made ahead of time and served at room temperature.

Summer Pesto Pasta Salad

We love serving pasta salad as a side dish for a cookout or barbecue. There are hundreds of recipes to choose from, but we tend to go with a veggie filled pesto version as we head into the heart of summer. Pasta salads can often time be filled with mayo which makes it a very bulky side dish. This version is made with quinoa pasta, pesto, and tons of veggies like zucchini and roasted tomatoes. It is filling, yet healthy, and goes with just about everything. We prefer to serve this pasta salad warm or room temperature; if you want to serve it chilled make sure you mix it well and season again with salt and pepper, as chilled foods tend to taste less seasoned than hot foods.

Summer Pasta Salad
Makes: 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb fusilli pasta (we used a quinoa based)
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 zucchini, ends trimmed, cut in half lengthwise, and diced
  • 2 yellow squash, ends trimmed, cut in half lengthwise, and diced
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup pesto
  • 1/3 cup grated or crumbled Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat a large pot of water and bring it to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions, about 12 minutes to al dente. Reserve 3/4 – 1 cup of pasta water before straining the pasta into a sink.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes to the pan. Sauté for 2 minutes or until the garlic is starting to brown. Add the zucchini to the pan and saute for another 4-5 minutes, or until the zucchini also starts to brown. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove the zucchini from the pan and add the tomatoes. Cook just a few minutes- you don’t want the tomatoes to turn into a sauce- you just want them to brown up.
  3. Put the pesto in a large serving bowl. Add the hot pasta and stir everything well, adding pasta water as necessary so that everything is nicely coated and not sticky. Add the zucchini and tomatoes to the pasta and gently mix. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with grated Parmesan cheese.