Chef Dad's Italian Pasta SaladPosted: Updated:
1 lb. pkg. Pasta (penne, bow tie, macaroni or your favorite shaped pasta)
10 oz. Grape Tomatoes (sliced in half or thirds, depending on how big they are)
1 Cup Black Olives (pitted, drained & sliced)
1 Cup Spanish Olives (small to medium sized, drained & sliced)
8 oz. Salami (your favorite, cubed)
8 oz. Provolone Cheese (cubed)
½ Cup Parmesan Cheese (grated)
1 Cup Italian Dressing (your favorite brand, shaken well)
½ Cup Mayonnaise
1) First, prep your meat, veggies & cheeses then set aside.
2) In a small bowl, whisk together your mayo & Italian dressing then set aside.
3) Before boiling our pasta, we need to make an "ice bath". This will be used to "shock" the pasta when it comes out of the boiling water. We do this because we want the pasta to stop cooking and cool down as well. Get a large bowl filled 1/3 of the way with ice. Now add water till it comes about ½ full.
4) Get a large pot of salted water over high heat up to a boil for your pasta. Put it in and cook the pasta per its package instructions. When it's done, drain well. Keep the pasta in your strainer then dunk it in your ice bath for a few minutes to cool. Pull the strainer out of the ice bath to drain again. Set the pasta in the strainer on your counter then blot it with a paper towel to remove the excess water from the noodles. Now put the noodles in a large bowl so we can mix the remaining ingredients together.
5) Combine the ingredients by first adding the pasta, tomatoes, olives, both meats & cheeses. Toss to combine then add your mayo/dressing mixture and mix well. Taste the mixture then add desired amount of salt & pepper. I usually start out with about ½ tsp. of salt and ¼ tsp. of pepper, but you may not want any at all. Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
This recipe serves at least 12-16 people as a side dish.
Cooks option; - I let my grocers' deli do most of the work by ordering the salami & provolone sliced ¼" thick. That way, when I get home, all I have to do is cross cut those slices to make my small cubes. If your salami slices have a thick outer skin on them, remove it before cubing the meat. Other optional ingredients which we like are freshly diced bell peppers. Use any combo of your favorite peppers such as red, green, orange and/or yellow. Finally, you can leave out the mayo if you want, just add another ¼ cup of Italian dressing to the mix.