For the dressing:
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the pasta salad:
- 1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
- 8 ounces dried short pasta, such as rotini
- 8 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
- 1 small English cucumber, quartered lengthwise, then thinly sliced crosswise
- 4 ounces mini mozzarella balls, drained and halved
- 4 ounces salami slices, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
- 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Chef’s knife and cutting board
- 4-quart pot
- Large and small bowls
Yield: Serves 6 to 8
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 8 minutes
- Make the dressing. Place all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine.
- Soften the red onion in the dressing. Add the finely chopped red onion and stir to combine. Set aside to soften while you prepare the rest of the salad.
- Cook the pasta. Bring 2 quarts of salted water to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente — soft with just a bit of chew — about 8 minutes or according to package directions. Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath in a large bowl.
- Quickly cool the pasta. Drain the pasta in a colander and run under cold water. Dunk the colander in the ice bath and set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
- Place the pasta salad ingredients in a bowl. Drain the pasta well. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, cucumber, mozzarella, salami, olives, and parsley.
- Toss the pasta with the dressing. Add the dressing, including the onions, to the pasta and toss until evenly combined.
- Chill for 30 minutes before serving. Refrigerate the pasta salad for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to meld before serving.
Storage: This pasta salad keeps well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Taste and season again before serving if needed.