My father in-law owns a catering company in Southern California and he makes antipasto pasta salad for events all the time. When I was first married, I often worked for my father in-law to earn extra money. I would spend my Saturday nights doing a little food prep, a lot of dishes and getting really sore feet in the process. Once I was done working, Ethan and I would go to In-N-Out and go home and watch SNL. For some reason, In-N-Out tastes best really late at night.
Anyways, this salad reminds me of catering. I have eaten a lot of this stuff in the last 7 years of my marriage, a lot. And my first bite of this took me back to late Saturday nights, sitting in the parking lot behind the kitchen and rubbing my sore feet.
I took what my father in-law does and made it a little more detailed. What does this consist of? Pasta, red wine vinaigrette and a few classic ingredients found on an antipasto platter. Black and green olives, roasted red peppers, salami, marinated artichoke hearts, pepperonicinis, Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley. Not only were the colors so pretty, but it was refreshing and light. It was a big hit at our Memorial Day barbecue.
For the vinaigrette:
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tsp honey
2 tsp kosher salt
A few grinds black pepper
1 cup olive oil
In a medium bowl, combine vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper. Whisk well. While whisking, slowly pour in olive oil. Set aside.
For the salad:
1 lb rotini pasta
1 14 oz can black olives
1 12 oz jar green olives
1 14 oz jar marinated artichoke hearts
1 12 oz jar roasted red bell peppers, diced
1/2 cup sliced pepperoncinis
1/2 lb Genoa salami, cut into 1/2 inch squares
1/4 cup shredded fresh Parmesan
1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
In a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water to cool down the pasta. Drain well and pour into a large bowl. Add black and green olives, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, pepperoncinis, salami, Parmesan cheese and parsley. Pour vinaigrette over the top and toss well. Refrigerated until serving time.
Yields 8 servings.
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If you are wondering if I burned the dickens out of my hand this morning while fulfilling a craving for pan-roasted potatoes, I did.