This Italian Pasta Salad with Homemade Italian Dressing is a hit at gatherings! www.recipetineats.com
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5 from 18 votes

Italian Pasta Salad with Homemade Italian Dressing

Recipe video above. If you're going to make a giant pasta, make it RIGHT with a beautiful homemade Italian Dressing!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Dinner, Salad
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: cold pasta salad, Italian pasta salad
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 430kcal
Author: [email protected]

Ingredients

Italian Dressing

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red or white wine vinegar (I like using red)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese (Note 1)
  • 1 tbsp sugar (any)
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tsp each dried basil and oregano
  • 1/4 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes (red pepper flakes) (optional)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Pasta Salad

  • 300g/10oz spiral pasta, or other pasta of choice
  • 180g/6oz thick sliced salami, cut into 2.5cm/1" batons (see photo in post or videos) (I use spicy salami)
  • 200g/7oz baby bocconcini, halved (Note 2)
  • 1 red capsicum/bell pepper, cut into 3cm/2.2cm strips
  • 250g/8oz whole olives (I used Sicilian and pitted black) (Note 3)
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (~1.5 Australian punnets)
  • 1 cup (tightly packed) fresh basil leaves

Instructions

  • Place Dressing ingredients in a jar and shake well.
  • Cook pasta according to packet directions minus 1 minute. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water to stop it cooking further. Shake excess water off well then transfer into large bowl.
  • Place remaining Pasta Salad ingredients in the bowl. Drizzle over Dressing and toss. Serve at room temperature.

Notes

  1. If the parmesan is not freshly grated, it will not dissolve in the dressing. So if you are using store bought pre grated parmesan, that's totally fine but sprinkle it on the salad instead of putting it in the dressing.
  2. I used baby bocconcini (which is small balls of fresh mozzarella sold at all supermarkets here in Australia) but you can use any sized bocconcini you want. Just chop it into small pieces.
  3. You can use sliced olives if you prefer. I typically opt for whole olives because they are so much juicier! Sicilian olives are green and perfect for an Italian Pasta Salad. They are kind of buttery and smoother than other types of olives.
  4. Leftovers: I swear this is even better the next day!
  5. Italian Pasta Salad with Homemade Italian Dressing nutrition per serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 204g | Calories: 430kcal