Inspired by the classic pasta salads found in delis the world over, this one combines a red wine vinaigrette and a mix of pantry items and fresh produce. This is a salad that lends itself well to improvisation, so use what you have on hand, and use the ingredient list as a guide.
The dressing recipe is inspired by one I read about on Dinner A Love Story from Odette Williams’s Simple Pasta.
For the dressing:
- 1/4 cup finely diced onion
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
For the salad:
- kosher salt
- 1 pound pasta, such as rotini or ditalini
- 4 to 6 scallions, thinly sliced (to yield 1 1/2 cups)
- 2 red bell peppers, finely diced (to yield 1 1/2 cups)
- 1/2 cup sliced olives (I’ve been using kalamata)
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced pepperoncini
- 2 to 3 ounces soppressata or salami, thinly sliced
- 8 ounces cubed mozzarella or provolone
- freshly cracked pepper to taste
- flaky sea salt
- Make the dressing: In a large bowl, place the onions, salt, vinegar and lemon juice. Let stand for at least 5 minutes. Whisk in the honey and olive oil. Taste. Adjust with more salt to taste. Add more vinegar or lemon if you like a sharper dressing.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons kosher salt. Boil the pasta al dente according to package instructions. Drain and rinse under cold water.
- Assemble the salad: Add the pasta to the bowl with the dressing. Add the scallions, peppers, olives, pepperoncini, soppressata, mozzarella, and a few generous twists of black pepper. Toss to combine. Taste. Adjust with salt and pepper to taste. For a sharper dressing, squeeze in more lemon or add a splash more vinegar.
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Pasta
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: olives, pepperoncini, red pepper, scallions, red wine vinegar, olive oil