Antipasto Pasta Salad

It’s not an oxymoron – it’s a happy hour platter in a pasta salad! Packed with olives, cheese, and salami, and a balsamic shallot vinaigrette this will be a hit at your next picnic or happy hour!

Dish Count :: 1 Large Mixing Bowl, 1 Cutting Board

Antipasto Pasta Salad - www.countrycleaver.com :: The perfect picnic salad with herbed salami, fresh mozzarella, red onion, and feta cheese! Don't forget the shallot balsamic vinaigrette! All made in one bowl.

We don’t have kids yet, but date nights have taken on a new form in our house hold. When Ben and I were dating, it was long distance, so we had dedicated weekends of nothing but fun, driving through wheat fields, hikes, and whatever cute couples do.

Then, when you start cohabitating, get married and live together a while, weekends aren’t dedicated to fun so much any more, so much as they are to getting to all of those necessary things that you couldn’t fit in during the rest of the week. Our one day together over Labor Day weekend was much like that. Grand plans were attempted to be dreamed up – I thought of putt putt golf at a local bar (I know, I bar that has mini golf!), and then…. we ended up going grocery shopping. Wild Monday night, y’all!
Antipasto Pasta Salad - www.countrycleaver.com :: The perfect picnic salad with herbed salami, fresh mozzarella, red onion, and feta cheese! Don't forget the shallot balsamic vinaigrette! All made in one bowl.

We have become the epitome of the couple who spends an hour on a Friday night flipping through Netflix trying to find something to watch together, then having me fall asleep on the couch 30 minutes into whatever we have picked out. I would say I was complaining, but at the end of the day – we are both so busy, and never get to see each other, so just the fact that Ben and I get to sit next to each other on the couch is something special. And I get to hold his hand. And we get to fight off having our two person couch invaded by the 85 pound hound, who inevitably gets on the couch to plop right between the two of us and fall asleep snoring so loud we have to turn the volume up on our movies…

But at least it’s all done together! So no matter how much I want us to be “those people” who go out on a Friday night to some new restaurant and be out on the town, it’s not who we are, and at the end of the day, I’m just glad we get to be homebodies together. Plus, I get to stay in yoga pants.

Antipasto Pasta Salad - www.countrycleaver.com :: The perfect picnic salad with herbed salami, fresh mozzarella, red onion, and feta cheese! Don't forget the shallot balsamic vinaigrette! All made in one bowl.

But if we were the people who did go out on the town, one of my favorite things is a glass of wine and an antipasto platter. Instead, I threw an antipasto platter into a pasta salad and loaded it with a shallot balsamic vinaigrette!! Huzzah!!

I was looking through my local shopping newsletter, and they were charging $9 a pound for their version of this!! That’s the equivalent of minimum wage per pound – which is terrible bang for your buck! I made double that for the same price they were charging for half. And, it was so much BETTER! I highly suggest you take my word for it and make it yourself. Like, now. And get that glass of wine and Netflix queue ready for you and your hunny. Antipasto Pasta Salad - www.countrycleaver.com :: The perfect picnic salad with herbed salami, fresh mozzarella, red onion, and feta cheese! Don't forget the shallot balsamic vinaigrette! All made in one bowl.

Yield: 10 Servings

Antipasto Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

1 Pound Penne Pasta


6 ounces Herb Crusted or Deli Salami, sliced into quarters


1/2 cup Red Onion, thinly sliced


1/4 cup Roasted Red Pepper, chopped


15 Mini Fresh Mozzarella Balls (Bocconcini), sliced in half


1/2 cup Crumbled Feta


1 1/2 cups Black and Green Olive mix


1/3 cup Olive Oil


1/3 cup Balsamic Vinegar


2-3 cloves Garlic, minced


3 Tbsp Shallots, minced


Salt/Pepper


1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes


1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning


Directions:

In a large pot, bring heavily salted water to a boil. Prepare pasta according to package directions.


While the pasta is cooking, prepare other ingredients, chopping red peppers, salami, mozzarella, , etc. Set ingredients aside.


When pasta is done, drain and immediately rinse with cold water until pasta is cold. Set aside.


In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, shallots, salt and pepper to taste, red pepper flakes, and Italian Seasoning. Whisk ingredients together. Add all remaining ingredients and pasta to the mixing bowl and fold the ingredients together until evenly mixed. Cover and place in the fridge to allow the flavors to meld for at least one hour.


Mix once more prior to serving.