Pasta salad is always best when loaded with veggies! We know you’ll love this version, created by Ashley Wolff!
“This is a quick & easy pasta salad recipe! It’s versatile, meaning you can substitute ingredients if you don’t have everything…or just to suit your tastes. Think of this as a jumping off point! I stumbled upon this creation one day when we were preparing for a cook-out and I needed a last minute, easy ‘starch’ side. We didn’t have potatoes for my classic potato salad so I improvised.” –Ashley WolffPrint
Italian Pasta Salad
- 1 pound fusilli pasta (penne, farfalle, gemelli or any other short noodle will do)
- 1 small zucchini (or ½ of a large)
- 1 cucumber (I prefer to use Kirby cucumbers when they are in season, and then I leave the skins on, otherwise I peel the cucumber)
- 2 medium tomatoes, diced (any kind will do…heirlooms are great when they are in season!)
- ½ medium red onion, diced
- Fresh flat leaf parsley (about 3 tablespoons roughly chopped)
- Pepperoni (I used sliced, about 20-25 slices, cut into quarters) – I don’t always add the pepperoni; I only do it when I happen to have some on hand. It’s a nice accent.
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan
- (I made this dressing by eye, not by measuring, so it was hard for me to put numbers to this. I erred on the lower end, so you might need to add more of any of these ingredients. In particular, you might want to add more of the oil & vinegar so that there is enough to dress the whole salad. This way you can start by pouring some over the salad and then add more if needed.)
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil (sometimes I use Smart Balance oil if I want a lighter flavor)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon garlic power
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste…about ½ teaspoon
- Ground sea salt (or kosher salt) to taste…about ½ to 1 teaspoon
- Boil pasta (in well-salted water) until “al dente,” drain and set aside
- Quarter the zucchini & cucumber (lengthwise) and then cut quarters into roughly ½ centimeter pieces. I like the pieces cut this way, but you can do it any way you like!
- Combine the pasta, zucchini, cucumber, tomato, onion, parsley, pepperoni, and grated parmesan.
- To make dressing, combine ingredients in separate bowl and whisk well, until sugar & salt are mostly dissolved. Give it a taste! Does it need more of anything? Now is the time to add it.
- Pour dressing over pasta salad and stir well. Let sit in fridge for at least an hour. It gets better the longer it sits!