Salami Caprese Pasta Salad

Sometimes my taste buds communicate directly with the craving part of my brain and dictate what I’m going to make to eat.

Does this ever happen to you?

I have no say in this either.

Out of nowhere I’ll crave a combination of flavors that sound soooo good together.

When this happens I know it’s my taste buds are in control.

This salad came about as one of those times.

It’s a hearty but light salad, and tastes so fresh and delicious.

It’s such a pretty salad to bring to a potluck or to have when guests come over.

Just wait to drizzle the balsamic vinaigrette on top of it until right before serving so the mozzarella cheese stays nice and white to contrast the beautiful colors in the salad.

So let’s check out the ingredients.

For the Salad – Salami, small-size penne pasta, fresh mozzarella cheese balls, sweet grape tomatoes (or teardrop, or cherry tomatoes), red onion, fresh basil, olive oil, salt and pepper.

For the Balsamic Vinaigrette – balsamic vinegar, olive oil, brown sugar, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Here’s how to make it.

For the Pasta Salad:

Boil water in a medium size pan and add the pasta.

Let cook until al dente (about 10 minutes) and then rinse, and set aside.

Drain the liquid out of the container of mozzarella cheese.

Add the mozzarella cheese balls to a large bowl.

Cut the tomatoes in half widthwise,

and add to the bowl.

Chop the red onions (not too small, about inch-size pieces)….

….and add them to the bowl.

Then cut each piece of salami into 6 triangular pieces (like you would cut a pizza)…

….and add to the bowl.

Next add the pasta,

olive oil,

and salt and pepper to the bowl.

Then,

gently stir the ingredients together….

….so that the pasta is coated with the olive oil, salt and pepper.

Add the pasta salad to the serving bowl or plate.

Then,

top with the thinly sliced fresh basil.

For the Balsamic Vinaigrette:

Add all of the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together.

Just before serving, drizzle the Vinaigrette on top of the salami caprese pasta salad.

Serve for lunch or as a side dish.

It’s also great as a snack too.

Enjoy!

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Salami Caprese Pasta Salad

Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the Pasta Salad:
1 container Fresh Mozzarella Cheese Balls (8 ounces)
1 ½ cups cut Sweet Grape, Teardrop, or Cherry Tomatoes
16 slices of Salami
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
¾ cup chopped Red Onion
1/3 cup thinly sliced Fresh Basil
½ cup uncooked small size Penne Pasta

For the Balsamic Vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
¼ cup Olive Oil
2 teaspoons Brown Sugar
2 dashes Garlic Powder
3 dashes Ground Black Pepper
3 dashes Salt

Directions:

For the Pasta Salad: Boil water in a medium size pan and add the pasta. Let cook until al dente (about 10 minutes) and then rinse, and set aside. Drain the liquid out of the container of mozzarella cheese. Add the mozzarella cheese to a large bowl. Cut the tomatoes in half widthwise, and add to the bowl.

Chop the red onions (not too small, about inch-size pieces), and add to the bowl. Then cut each piece of salami into 6 triangular pieces (like you would cut a pizza), and add to the bowl. Next add the pasta, olive oil, salt and pepper to the bowl.

Gently stir all ingredients together so that the pasta is coated with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Top with the thinly sliced fresh basil.

For the Balsamic Vinaigrette: Add all of the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together. Just before serving, drizzle the Vinaigrette on top of the salami caprese pasta salad.

Serve for lunch or as a side dish. It’s also great as a snack too.

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