This pasta salad recipe isn’t remarkable on its own, being that there are hundreds of pasta salad recipes, but this is remarkably good!
Inspired by my favorite antipasto platters, I used Italian dry salami, Prosciutto, Provolone, Fontina, plus olives and pepperoni. Then I added pasta and fresh vegetables to create an easy pasta salad that is definitely extraordinary.
My vinaigrette is classic, made with olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard and garlic.
Feel free to make this salad your own. It’s one of those “use what you like” recipes. Change up the meats and cheeses, add sun-dried tomatoes or marinated artichokes, chives or shallots, or your favorite dressing. It will all be delicious!
Antipasto-Inspired Pasta Salad
best served at room temperature
16 ounces pasta of choice, I used rotini
10 ounces dry Italian salami
8 ounces Provolone
8 ounces Fontina
6 ounces Prosciutto
12 ounce jar peperoncini
6 ounces Greek Kalamata olives
6 ounces pimiento-stuffed Spanish green olives
12 ounces spinach
Fresh cherry tomatoes
Fresh basil leaves
Vinaigrette of choice
Begin by cooking the dry pasta based on the package directions. Drain well, then return to the cooking pot. Stir in a few tablespoons of olive oil and a little salt; set aside to cool.
Cut up the salami and cheeses in a sort of julliene shape. Place in a bowl and set aside. Chifonnade slices of Prosciutto, or alternatively, slice in to bits. Set aside.
Place the drained pepperoncini and olives in the jar of a food processor and pulse until in pieces. Set aside.
Chifonnade fresh spinach leaves and place on a large platter or pasta bowl. Add the cooled pasta on top.
If you don’t want a “composed” salad, all of the ingredients can alternatively be tossed in a large bowl.
Add the salami and cheese mixture, plus the Prosciutto.
Add some of the pepperoncini-olive mixture to the center of the pasta salad.
Sprinkle generously with coarsely-ground black pepper and cayenne pepper flakes.
If desired, add some cherry tomatoes, and basil leaves.
Serve with the vinaigrette.
note: I would normally have added a little vinaigrette to the cooked pasta, but I’m always wary about guests not liking vinegar. But all components of this salad could first be tossed with some vinaigrette, including the spinach, if the salad will be served immediately. If your guests also don’t like pepperoncini and olives, the mixture could be served on the side.