From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This is a nice recipe to have in the hopper for family picnics or neighborhood block parties. It's really fast to make and easy to assemble. There is no real cooking involved and if you can boil water you are home free. As a matter of fact, a spaghetti pot with an insert for draining makes it possible for even young cooks to make this picnic treat. One small caution. They have a tendency to sneak the "good stuff", so you'll probably want to keep your eyes on them as they assemble the salad. Someday, I'll tell you the story of the shrimpless shrimp pasta salad, but for now the memory is still too painful for discussion. The pasta can be served cold or at room temperature and, should you have the need, the recipe can be doubled. I use a mildly flavored giardiniera when I make this, but if you enjoy heat, by all means, go for the hotter variety. The recipe was developed by Michele Larson for Taste of Home magazine, and I guarantee that those of you who try it will enjoy her antipasto-type pasta. Here's the recipe.
Picnic Pasta Salad...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Michele Larson and Taste of HomeMagazine
8 ounces medium pasta shells
1 jar (16 ounces) giardiniera
1/2 pound fresh broccoli florets
1/4 pound cubed part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 pound hard salami, cubed
1/4 pound deli ham, cubed
1 package (3-1/2 ounces) sliced pepperoni, halved
1 large green pepper, cut into chunks
1 can(6 ounces) pitted ripe olives, drained
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1) Cook pasta according to package directions.
2) Meanwhile, drain giardiniera, reserving 1/3 cup liquid. Combine giardiniera, broccoli, mozzarella, salami, ham, pepperoni, green pepper and olives in a large bowl.
3) Drain pasta and rinse in cold water; stir into meat mixture.
4) Whisk oil, vinegar, lemon juice, Italian seasoning, pepper, salt and reserved giardiniera liquid. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Refrigerate until serving. Yield: 12 servings.
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