ITALIAN PASTA SALAD
- 1 cup mozzarella balls mini, whole or halved
- 13 cherry tomatoes plum or , I used tricolor, halved
- ½ red onion medium dice
- 1 cup cucumber sliced and seeds removed (I cut the cucumber in half and removed the seeds with a fruit scoop)
- ½ cup black olives green or purple would also taste delicious here
- ½ cup parsley chopped
- 10 oz salami smaller dice (or other Italian sausage, or kielbasa)
- 15 oz pasta fusilli, rotini, farfalle, or any other pasta that has little curves that the dressing gets stuck in
- ½ cup bell pepper diced (red tastes better as it is sweeter and balances the salty flavors well)
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp lemon juice
- ¼ cup olive oil + 3 tablespoons
- 1 tsp Dijon
- 1 tsp Maple syrup
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Prepare pasta according to package directions (al dente). Add a little salt to your pasta. Once cooked, drain the pasta in a colander and let cool down or even chill in the fridge before stirring with other ingredients. (We are going for a cold salad here).
- For faster cooling, arrange pasta on a baking sheet while you cut other ingredients.
- Make the dressing. In a mixing jug or mason jar with a lid, combine dressing ingredients and stir/shake well. Let stand (fridge or room temperature) for 15-30 minutes for flavors to blend.
- Prepare your veggies and salami by cutting them and arrange in a large mixing bowl. Add in the pasta and stir in the dressing. Taste for seasoning.
- For better flavor, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge to chill for at least 1 hour. It is however optional.