My little city (I like to call it “Mayberry”) has free concerts in the park every Tuesday night in the summer. We often take a picnic dinner – I like to keep it simple; usually a gourmet sandwich and a side salad (often pasta salad). I can’t remember which sandwich I paired with this pasta salad, but I do remember that the pasta salad was a big success. Because this side salad includes meat and cheese, it’s particularly filling and would pair well with a light sandwich. I purchased the provolone and salami from the deli at the grocery store and just asked them for the whole piece unsliced – then cut it into bite sized chunks. It’s super easy to make and is even better if made a day in advance.
- 1 Lb. Tri-colored Fusili or other dried Pasta
- 1/2 Lb. Hard Salami – cut into 1/2 inch chunks
- 1/2 Lb. Provolone – cut into 1/2 inch chunks
- 1 Cup Cherry/Grape Tomatoes – cut into 1/2s or 1/4s
- 1/2 Medium Red Onion – roughly chopped
- 1/3 Cup Black Olives (I like Kalmata) pitted and cut in half
- 1/2 Cup Fresh Sweet Basil – roughly chopped
- 2-3 TBS. Dried Italian Herbs
- 1/3 Cup Olive Oil
- 1/4 Cup Pinot Grigio Vinegar (can substitute red wine vinegar)
- 2 Cloves Fresh Garlic – minced
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Cook pasta until al dente (firm to the bite), drain, and run under cold water until completely cooled. Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, garlic, and salt and pepper until well combined. Pour vinagrette over cooled pasta, add remaining ingredients and toss until well-combined. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste (the salami and provolone are quite salty).