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Tonight's Dinner: Antipasto Pasta Salad

Jennifer is a stay-at-home mom with a passion for writing, vintage clothes, old movies and cooking, especially dinners and desserts. Jennifer loves writing so much that whenever she has a spare moment, she spends it writing fiction or ad...

A Salad that's good hot or cold

Pasta salad is a great dish no matter what the temperature outside. Add whatever vegetables or proteins you like and you've got a great dinner year 'round.

A couple months ago my family and I traveled to San Diego for a weekend getaway. While we were there we visited Seaport Village, a fun little shopping area that has several restaurants and plenty of places to fly a kite. While chasing my son around, I happened upon a new oil & vinegar shop: Seaport Oil and Vinegar. I don't know about you, but olive oil is like my flour or butter. I use it constantly in everything from salad dressings to pasta sauces. So when I discovered that they not only sold plain olive oil, but flavor infused olive oils, I knew I had to try some. Since I'm also a huge garlic fan, I bought a bottle of their garlic olive oil and it's as delicious as you might imagine.

I use olive oil often for salad dressings, so I thought it would be a good choice as the base of the vinaigrette I made for this antipasto pasta salad from Parents Magazine. I wasn't wrong. Since the recipe already calls for minced garlic in the dressing, the garlic olive oil punches up that garlic flavor even more, really giving the salad a nice Italian flavor. But it honestly doesn't matter if you have garlic olive oil or the regular extra virgin variety. This pasta salad is delicious no matter which oil you use. And because it's made with pasta instead of lettuce, it's filling enough to be an entree, hot or cold.

Antipasto Pasta Salad

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces penne pasta
  • 1/3 cup garlic olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground, black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 pound buffalo mozzarella cheese, diced
  • 1/4 pound thick cut salami, diced
  • 1 (6 ounce) can pitted black olives
  • 1/3 cup Italian (flat leaf) parsley
  • 1/3 cup roasted red peppers

Directions

  1. Cook penne according to package directions. Drain and transfer to large serving bowl.
  2. In a small jar with a tight fitting lid, combine olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and garlic. Shake well and pour over hot pasta. Toss to combine.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and toss well to combine. If serving cold, cover and chill in refrigerator for one hour.

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