This dish is a pasta salad and a salad; hence the title of this recipe. This is a great dish to make and have for a healthy lunch during the week. I explain the best way to prepare and pack it below. I used some of my favorite antipasto staples, but you could use whatever are your favorite items. A little tuna or shrimp (instead of the salami) would be good additions to this, too.
Half a pound of penne pasta
4 ounces Italian dry salami, diced
8 ounces (1 ball) fresh mozzarella cheese, diced
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
1/3 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
½ cup grape tomatoes, halved or quartered depending on size
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Romaine lettuce chopped
(Additional items could include artichoke hearts, cooked asparagus, red onion, cucumber, garbanzo or cannellini beans, etc.)
Herbed Red Wine Vinaigrette:
¼ cup good red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, pressed through a garlic press or 2 tsps garlic paste from the tube
½ tsp good Dijon mustard
½ tsp dried Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of sugar
½ cup good olive oil
Bring a pot of water to boil; salt liberally. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, approx. 10-11 minutes. Drain and transfer to a bowl of ice water to cool. Drain again and let sit so it dries some. Prepare the rest of the salad while this is happening.
Add the salami through the parsley to a bowl. Set aside.
Make the dressing by adding all of the ingredients to a small bowl, except the oil. Whisk together and then slowly add the oil while whisking.
Add the pasta to the bowl with the rest of the salad ingredients. Toss with some of the dressing.
To plate, add some chopped lettuce to a bowl, dress it a little bit with the vinaigrette. Add some pasta salad and serve.
This is a great recipe to make ahead for lunches during the week. Just pack the lettuce and pasta salad separately so the lettuce doesn’t wilt. Pack a little extra vinaigrette on the side, just in case you need it.