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 Wolff


Italian Pasta Salad
Author: 
 
Ingredients
SALAD INGREDIENTS:
  • 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
DRESSING INGREDIENTS:
  • (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.)
  • ⅓ 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
Instructions
  1. Boil pasta (in well-salted water) until “al dente,” drain and set aside
  2. 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!
  3. Combine the pasta, zucchini, cucumber, tomato, onion, parsley, pepperoni, and grated parmesan.
  4. 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.
  5. Pour dressing over pasta salad and stir well. Let sit in fridge for at least an hour. It gets better the longer it sits!