Melissa's Pasta Salad

July 07, 2017

Melissa's Pasta Salad

So this Pasta Salad is one of my faves for July 4th! I had a TON of people ask me for the recipe over the last few days so here it is. It's perfect for parties, picnics, and more! Pin it, share it, like it, and save it! It's a lot of work, but it's TOTALLY worth it! Every time I make it, people beg for the recipe. INGREDIENTS: 12-16oz Rotini (multi-colored) pasta 6 slices Hard salami diced 12 Pepperoni slices, sliced in half 4oz Mozzarella cheese, cubed 4oz Monterrey jack or Swiss, cubed 2 small cans sliced black olives, drained 1 red bell pepper, diced 1 yellow bell pepper, diced 3 green onions, chopped 1 container cherry tomatoes cut in 1/2 1 (.7 ounce) package dry Italian-style salad dressing mix 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 3tbl. balsamic vinegar 2 Tbl. Dried Oregano 2 Tbl. Zesty Italian Dressing 1 Tbl. Dried Parsley 2 Tbl. Grated Parmesan cheese Ground black pepper to taste ****THE KEY to this salad is to make it the NIGHT BEFORE!!! It's much better to let the flavors incorporate together!!!**** DIRECTIONS: Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain, and cool under cold water. Chop all of your vegetables, cheeses, and meats while the pasta cooks and cools (trust me, it's a lot of chopping... but power through!) ****You can do a lot of this in advance if you want to save time!**** In a large bowl, combine the cooled pasta, salami, pepperoni, cheese, black olives, onion, red bell pepper, bell peppers and tomatoes. Stir in the envelope of dry dressing mix. Cover, and refrigerate at lease a good portion of the day - or over night! To prepare the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Italian dressing, oregano, parsley, 1 Tbl. of the Parmesan cheese, and pepper. Pour 1/2 of this mixture over the salad the night before. Just before serving, pour the remaining dressing over the salad, toss with rest of Parmesan cheese. (Sometimes I don't use all the dressing)


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