I absolutely adore this pasta salad. The taste may be a little too refined for kids, but I love the vinegar flavors. Because of all the meat and cheese this can be a little expensive, so I don't make this as often as I would like to.
When you go to the deli counter to get the meats, ask them to slice the meat into a single slice for the entire 1/4 lb. That way your chunks will be closer to bite size instead of being too thin. Also, my grocery store sells pepperoni minis which cuts out the halving step. I also find the giardiniera pieces to be larger than bite-size, so I typically chop them a little. Double the recipe for a great potluck dish that you will be sure to get compliments over.
- 8 oz medium pasta shells, uncooked
- 1 jar (16 ounces) giardiniera
- 1/2 pound fresh broccoli florets
- 1/4 pound cubed part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 pound hard salami, cubed
- 1/4 pound deli ham, cubed
- 1 package (3-1/2 ounces) sliced pepperoni, halved
- 1/2 large green pepper, cut into chunks
- 1 can (6 ounces) pitted ripe olives, drained
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, drain giardiniera, reserving 3/4 cup liquid. In a large bowl, combine the giardiniera, broccoli, mozzarella, salami, ham, pepperoni, green pepper and olives. Drain pasta and rinse in cold water; stir into meat mixture.
- For dressing, in a small bowl, whisk the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, Italian seasoning, pepper, salt and reserved giardiniera liquid. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Refrigerate until serving. Yield: 12 servings.
Note: Giardiniera, a pickled vegetable mixture, is available in mild and hot varieties and can be found in the Italian or pickle section of your grocery store.