Italian Salad Dressing – Simple and Delicious

I eat lots of salads.  Here is a very simple and delicious dressing.

Italian Salad Dressing

Ingredients

1 cup vegetable oil (Canola, Olive – whatever you like)
1/4 Red Wine Vinegar (or balsamic – depends on my mood – I do love my balsamics!!)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced

Directions

Shake all ingredients in a tightly covered container.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours.  Shake before serving.

Told you it was easy!!

Antipasto Pasta Salad

I really enjoy Antipasto.  I saw this recipe and thought it was a great spin to an Antipasto ‘salad’.  It is extremely flavorful and I think you will love it.  As you can tell in my last few posts I am on an America’s Test Kitchen kick.  This is a variation of their recipe.  I changed this one up a little.  Of course, Simple and Delicious!

Antipasto Pasta Salad

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8 ounces sliced pepperoni, cut into 1/4-inch strip (I used 4 ounces)
8 ounces sopresatta or salami, halved and cut into 1/4-inch strips (yep, 4 ounces salami)
10 tablespoons red wine vinegar (I used 5 Tablespoons red wine, 5 Tablespoons Balsamic)
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (I used 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil, 3 Tablespoons Herb flavored Olive Oil)
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1jar pepperoncini (12-ounce), drained, (2 tablespoons juice reserved), stemmed, and chopped coarse
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper
1 pound fusilli or campanelle
1 pound white mushrooms, quartered (No mushrooms for this chickie)
1 cup shredded provolone cheese, aged (I cut into 1/4 inch strips, did not shred)
12 ounces roasted red peppers, drained, patted dry, and chopped coarse
1/2 cup chopped black olives
1 cup chopped fresh basil (sadly only had a 1/2 cup) 

Directions

1.  Place one paper towel on microwave-safe plate. Arrange pepperoni in single layer on paper towel. Cover with another paper towel and layer salami on towel. Top with another paper towel and microwave on highest power until meat begins to render fat, about 1 minute. Set meat aside. (This worked great in getting rid of fat.)
2.  Whisk 5 tablespoons vinegar, olive oil, mayonnaise, pepperoncini juice, garlic, red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in medium bowl.  Friday 053113 003
3.  Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta and cook until al dente. Drain pasta, return to pot, and toss with 1/2 cup dressing and remaining vinegar. Adjust seasonings, spread dressed pasta on rimmed baking sheet, and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes. (This helped to cool down the pasta much faster.)
4.  (I totally skipped #4.  No mushrooms for me!) Meanwhile, bring remaining dressing to simmer in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook until they release their juices and are lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer to large bowl and cool.
5.  Add meat, provolone, roasted red peppers, chopped pepperoncini, Friday 053113 004basil, and cooled pasta, toss well. Season with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature. Salad can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.