I love the summer. It has to be my favorite time of year. It's warm outside, the sun is shining, and I don't have to work! I have plenty of time to bake and cook and I love trying new recipes with my extra time. Unfortunately we do not have air conditioning so I can only bake early in the morning or later in the evening when it is cooler.
That means whenever I'm looking to make lunch or dinner I want something that is either fast to cook or is a cold dish that's also filling. I make a lot of salads and pasta salads. I have a formula when I make them but I try to switch the flavors up when I can. This pasta salad is very hearty, has great Italian flavors, and is a snap to make. Plus our theme for this month's The Salad Bar is Potluck Salads and I always bring pasta salad to a potluck.
While the base of all my pasta salads have pasta, cheese, pepperoni, and dressing, this one really gets bonus points for the onion, artichoke hearts, bell pepper, and roasted red peppers. The dressing is a combination of Italian dressing, Parmesan cheese, and seasonings. It's really delicious and makes a complete meal when served with Italian bread.
Italian Pasta Salad (adapted from Cinnamon, Spice, and Everything Nice)
For the Dressing:
1 c. Italian dressing
⅓ c. Parmesan Cheese, freshly grater
1 t. oregano
1 t. black pepper
½ t. salt
For the Pasta Salad:
¼ c. finely diced red onion
¾ c. chopped artichoke hearts
1 green pepper, chopped
½ c. roasted red peppers, chopped
¾ c. pepperoni, chopped
¾ c. mozzarella cheese, diced
10 oz. small pasta, cooked
1 t. Italian seasoning
1 t. salt
1 t. black pepper
¼ t. red pepper flakes
1. Combine all the dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk together. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
2. In a large bowl combine the pasta and vegetables. Toss to combine.
3. Pour the dressing over top of the pasta and mix well.
4. Mix in the pepperoni, cheese, and seasonings and toss to combine. Taste the pasta salad and season with additional salt or pepper if desired. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
This sounds like the very best macaroni salad, I can imagine. Would you link it up to My Meatless Mondays. You always add the best dishes.
Really nice pasta salad...this one would get snapped up fast at a potluck!
Beautiful! I love anything with artichoke hearts in it!
Mary @ Fit and Fed
Mmm, roasted red peppers and artichoke hearts are among my favorite additions to a pasta salad! This would be perfect for a potluck.
Lesa @ Edesias Notebook
This type of pasta salad always brings back good memories for me, as the first time I had it was when someone brought it to me after I came home from the hospital with my second baby. I love all the flavors going on in yours. Delish!
Marlene @Nosh My Way
Now that's Italian. Hearty pasta salad's like yours are always a hit at potluck parties too.
Great choice and nice for this hot weather.
I do love a hearty pasta salad. We do not have airconditioning either so cook accordingly.
Dorothy at ShockinglyDelicious
A classic! So delicious looking. I would eat this for several days in a row!
The colors are beautiful! LOve the roasted red peppers and artichokes. Yum!
Cindys Recipes and Writings
I like o&v pasta salads even better the next day!