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Summer is here and it’s the perfect time for a nice, cool, refreshing pasta salad like this Italian pasta salad. I don’t know about you, but when the summer heat arrives, the last thing I want is a lot of hot foods to eat. I certainly don’t want to be spending tons of time in a hot kitchen. And I really like the ease of a nice pasta salad. They are a classic summer favorite!
I regularly make the classic pasta salad recipe and have been making it for decades! Of course, I do a gluten-free version which is better for my tummy. But any of my pasta salad recipes can be done using gluten-free or regular wheat pasta.
I was thinking about different possible pasta salad flavors and I decided I wanted to do a simple Italian pasta salad. The flavors in this salad remind me a lot of pizza…and who doesn’t love pizza, right? The nice thing about recipes like this is that there is plenty you can do to customize it, just like with a pizza. So if there is an ingredient you don’t like, then feel free to keep it out!
I actually make a simple homemade Italian dressing for this using extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, and plenty of great Italian seasonings. But you can certainly use a simple organic store-bought variety if that is easier for you.
I typically use turkey pepperoni in my salad but any type will do. This pasta salad keeps well in the refrigerator for a few days. In fact, it tastes even better the next day after the seasonings have had a chance to meld together.
I did include tomatoes in this recipe. I didn’t have any, but it still tasted just as yummy without them! This Italian pasta salad would be perfectly paired with grilled chicken or a nice steak.
Italian Pasta Salad
- 2 cups rotini pasta
- 1/4 cup onion chopped
- 1/3 cup red bell pepper diced
- 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese cubed
- 2 tbsp sliced black olives
- 1/3 cup pepperoni quartered
- 3 tbsp Italian dressing
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 10 cherry tomatoes quartered
- Cook the pasta. Rinse with cold water and allow to cool completely.
- Add the remaining ingredients except parmesan cheese and mix well. Allow the salad to chill for a couple of hours before serving if possible.
- Allow the salad to chill for a couple of hours before serving if possible. Top with the parmesan and enjoy!