Perfect Italian Pasta Salad!

Here’s the perfect match for grilled meats from the BBQ.  You can mix up a big bowl for guests or bring it along to a summer party where you’re the guest.  As tomatoes come into season, it just gets better!


Recipe type: Side
  • 1 16 oz. box medium shells, gemelli or farfelle (bowtie) pasta – (I like the way these pastas work in a pasta salad – we used medium shells, which are a more traditional selection)
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 large red pepper, diced (you can substitute the equivalent amount of roasted red pepper)
  • 1 16 oz. container bocconcini (small fresh mozzarella balls – you can also slice and cube a block of fresh mozzarella)
  • 1 carton grape tomatoes, washed and quartered
  • 1 package Hormel Pepperoni Minis (you can substitute regular pepperoni sliced into ¼” strips)
  • 1 8 oz. bottle zesty Italian dressing
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh cracked pepper
  1. Cook pasta according to directions on box – al dente (a little firm, but not starchy) is just right, you don’t want to overcook pasta.
  2. Drain well and add to large salad bowl.
  3. Dress with salad dressing and add all other ingredients. Mix and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  5. Before serving toss again and add more dressing if pasta looks dry – when you dress the salad when the pasta is hot/warm it soaks up the dressing adding to the flavor.

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