Antipasto Pasta Salad

Pasta salad is a perfect addition to any party menu, summer lunch or a picnic in the park, not to mention packing it up to take to work or school. This variation is a combination of all the ingredients of a typical antipasto selection – salami, cheese, marinated mushrooms, banana peppers as well as broccoli, cherry tomatoes and fresh parsley and basil. The simple dressing of olive oil and red wine vinegar highlights all the ingredients and makes it taste so flavorful. 

Yields: 6 servings

Ingredients:

8 oz pasta

1 broccoli crown, cut into florets

8 oz mushrooms

4 garlic cloves, 2 minced, for the mushrooms, 2 smashed for the vinaigrette

Olive oil; 1 1/2 Tablespoons for the mushrooms and 2 Tablespoons for the vinaigrette

Red wine vinegar; 1/2 Tablespoon each, for the mushrooms and the vinaigrette

1 pint grape/cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup salami, julienned

1/4 cup banana peppers, sliced, plus 1/2 Tablespoon brine for the mushrooms and 1/2 Tablespoon for the vinaigrette

1/2 cup provolone or mozarella cheese, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes

1 Tablespoon fresh basil and parsley, each, finely chopped

Instructions: 

Cook pasta according to package instructions, cool and set aside. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta water and place in a skillet. Bring to a boil, add broccoli. Cover, reduce heat to med low and cook until broccoli is crisp tender and still a vibrant green, about 5 minutes. Place the broccoli in a bowl to cool.Meanwhile, quarter or halve the mushrooms, depending on the size.

Whisk together 1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 Tablespoon red wine vinegar, 1/2 Tablespoon banana pepper brine and pour into skillet. Add mushrooms and 2 minced garlic cloves, season with salt and pepper and cook until the mushrooms are golden brown. The liquid will all evaporate and soak into the mushrooms, infusing them with SO much flavor.  The mushrooms will turn golden brown. I got the idea for this from America’s Test Kitchen. It’s simply brilliant, marinating the mushrooms so that they’re full of flavor and browning them for beautiful color and intensity of more flavor at the same time.  Whisk 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and 1/2 Tablespoon of red wine vinegar, 1/2 Tablespoon banana pepper brine and add 2 smashed garlic cloves. Allow to stand for about 15 minutes. Discard the garlic.

Steeping the garlic in the vinaigrette gives it some garlic flavor but you won’t be punched in the face with garlic as you eat your salad.

You can also use your favorite Italian dressing instead of this vinaigrette.

Toss the pasta, broccoli, mushrooms, salami, tomatoes, cheese, peppers and basil with the vinaigrette. Season with salt and ground black pepper. You can eat it right away, but it only gets better the longer it stands, since all the flavors meld together.

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Antipasto Pasta Salad

  • Author: Olga's Flavor Factory
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 18 mins
  • Total Time: 38 mins
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Sides

Scale

Ingredients

  • 8 oz pasta
  • 1 broccoli crown, cut into florets
  • 8 oz mushrooms
  • 4 garlic cloves, 2 minced, for the mushrooms, 2 smashed for the vinaigrette
  • Olive oil; 1 1/2 Tablespoons for the mushrooms and 2 Tablespoons for the vinaigrette
  • Red wine vinegar; 1/2 Tablespoon each, for the mushrooms and the vinaigrette
  • 1 pint grape/cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup salami, julienned
  • 1/4 cup banana peppers, sliced, plus 1/2 Tablespoon brine for the mushrooms and 1/2 Tablespoon for the vinaigrette
  • 1/2 cup provolone or mozarella cheese, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh basil and parsley, each, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions, cool and set aside. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta water and place in a skillet. Bring to a boil, add broccoli. Cover, reduce heat to med low and cook until broccoli is crisp tender and still a vibrant green, about 5 minutes. Place the broccoli in a bowl to cool.Meanwhile, quarter or halve the mushrooms, depending on the size.
  2. Whisk together 1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 Tablespoon red wine vinegar, 1/2 Tablespoon banana pepper brine and pour into skillet. Add mushrooms and 2 minced garlic cloves, season with salt and pepper and cook until the mushrooms are golden brown. The liquid will all evaporate and soak into the mushrooms, infusing them with SO much flavor. The mushrooms will turn golden brown. I got the idea for this from America’s Test Kitchen. It’s simply brilliant, marinating the mushrooms so that they’re full of flavor and browning them for beautiful color and intensity of more flavor at the same time. Whisk 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and 1/2 Tablespoon of red wine vinegar, 1/2 Tablespoon banana pepper brine and add 2 smashed garlic cloves. Allow to stand for about 15 minutes. Discard the garlic.
  3. Steeping the garlic in the vinaigrette gives it some garlic flavor but you won’t be punched in the face with garlic as you eat your salad.
  4. You can also use your favorite Italian dressing instead of this vinaigrette.
  5. Toss the pasta, broccoli, mushrooms, salami, tomatoes, cheese, peppers and basil with the vinaigrette. Season with salt and ground black pepper. You can eat it right away, but it only gets better the longer it stands, since all the flavors meld together.

 

4 Comments

    • Olga K.

      It’s a type of pepper that is sold in jars, usually next to the pickles. There are other types of peppers, pepperoncini peppers, etc. I personally like banana peppers best.

  • Tatyana

    I love this salad!!! Made it three times already for parties. Last night made a lot for today’s husband’s work party. Everyone loved it! My favorite part of this salad is marinating the mushroom when frying them. It gives them such an unusual but very appetizing flavor. Thank you for the recipe!

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