Italian Pasta Salad

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In my last post I declared I was back in a rhythm. I unintentionally lied to you! You see, as of September 1, I began a new chapter in my life and there is no rhythm at all this point. I've been off the last few weeks after resigning from our company in order to make a major career change. Exactly what I want to be when I grow up is still unclear at this point, however, I know it will involve working with children in some way. In the meantime, I'll be gaining experience working with children by substitute teaching starting today. I'm really excited about what the future holds!

You know what else makes me excited? Pasta. I could eat it several nights a week if JR was on board with me. However, he is a rice guy (nothing wrong with that!), so while pasta makes its appearance, it's only once a week if that.


When we are invited to gatherings, especially last minute ones, I use that as an opportunity to sneak in a pasta dish. This Italian Pasta Salad has made it's appearance at many family gatherings, which included a recent picnic. One of the things I like most about this dish is that I often have all the ingredients on hand and I can mix up what I use for vegetables, cheeses, meats and dressings that you This salad is so forgiving, and while I never have a duplicate final product it's always delicious. If you have time, make this the night before so the pasta has time to soak in the dressing.

Here is what you'll need if you're feeding a crowd (otherwise, cut back ingredients for a smaller portion):
  • 2 pounds medium shaped pasta (i.e. shells, rotini, wagon wheels, bowties, etc.)
  • 4-6 oz. pepperoni, diced (or diced ham, salami or other meat)
  • 4-6 oz. cheddar cheese, diced (or any cheese of your choice)
  • handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cucumber, diced
  • 1 can of small black olives
  • 6 oz. jar marinated mushrooms, halved (or artichokes)
  • 6 oz. jar roasted peppers, chopped (or fresh peppers)
  • 16 oz. bottle balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing (or other dressing of your choice)
Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. Drain and cool.

Once pasta is cooled, mix all ingredients together. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Before serving, stir. Serves 12+.

Comment (1)

This is perfect - I was just thinking I needed a pasta salad for the little guy's birthday.