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Friday, April 19, 2013

Italian Pasta Salad

When I met my husband almost 7 years ago, one of the things I really noticed about his family is that, when it comes to food, they are all "pickers". When a dish is made, whether it's brownies, cold pasta salad or even a ham, they very rarely put it on a plate. They each grab a fork when they are hungry, take a bite or two, then come back to it later when they want more. The majority of the time, there are no slices taken out of a cheesecake, just a bunch of fork marks. :)

One of Tony's favorite cold pasta salads to pick at is tuna, but he also loves an Italian salad. I figured it would be the perfect thing to keep in the fridge this weekend for him to grab while he's studying. Finals are coming closer and he's going to be pretty busy. What student doesn't want some of their favorite snacks when the stress is high?

It's super quick to throw together with very little effort. The hardest thing you have to do is cook the pasta, and who can't boil water? :)

This salad is good to eat right away, better when it's refrigerated for a couple hours, but best when it stays in the fridge overnight. Perfect to bring for a potluck or even a picnic!

All you do is cook the pasta, rinse in cold water, and drain.

Prepare your ingredients.
Black olives, pepperoni, broccoli, and red onion.
You can also add green peppers and cherry tomatoes, but I didn't have peppers 
and Tony despises tomatoes. :)

I used the zesty Italian dressing from Aldi, but you can use your favorite Italian dressing. Creamy or original. It may seem like a lot of dressing, but the longer it's refrigerated, the drier it will get because the pasta soaks up the liquid. That's why it's so flavorful the next day. If it gets too dry, just add some more dressing.

Toss it all together!


2 boxes tri-colored pasta (cooked, rinsed in cold water, and drained)
1/2 pkg. pepperoni slices, quartered
1 can black olives, sliced
1/2 c. red onion, diced
1 1/2 c. broccoli
1 bottle Italian dressing


Cook pasta, rinse in cold water, and drain.
Prepare all ingredients and add them to the pasta.
Pour the dressing over the mixture and gently stir until thoroughly mixed.
May refrigerate overnight before serving.

*Makes about 10-12 cups.

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