Sunday, September 7, 2008

Supreme Pizza Pasta Salad

If you are looking for a hearty pasta salad that could be a complete meal AND reminds you of a pie with all the toppings; then you have come to the right place. Even while making the dressing for this salad, I am transported into a pizzeria and my mouth starts watering for a slice. Yes, this is a Rachael Ray recipe, but these are actually the recipes I really enjoy from her. She is not trying to serve 4 courses to 12 people in 30 minutes; she is simply giving us an easy, tasty dish.

I would recommend adding the mushrooms no more than several hours before you will be serving this (I just buy the 8 ounce package of sliced mushrooms). Any longer and they soak up too much of the dressing and become shriveled and ugly looking. Fresh basil is key, and this is a perfect dish for that tube of tomato paste I know you all went out and bought!

Supreme Pizza Pasta Salad
Rachael Ray
Makes 8-10 side dish servings

2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
8 fresh white button mushrooms, sliced
1 small green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 stick pepperoni, cut into a small dice
1 pound ball fresh mozzarella or fresh smoked mozzarella, diced
20 leaves fresh basil, torn or thinly sliced
1 pound wagon wheel pasta, cooked to al dente and cooled under cold water, then drained

Dressing:
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves or Italian dried seasoning
1 rounded tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, eyeball it
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, eyeball it

freshly ground black pepper

Combine tomatoes, onion, mushrooms, peppers, pepperoni, mozzarella, basil and pasta in a big bowl.

Whisk garlic salt, oregano or Italian seasoning, tomato paste and vinegar together. Stream in extra-virgin olive oil while continuing to whisk dressing. When oil is incorporated, pour dressing over pasta salad.

Add a few grinds of black pepper to the bowl, then toss salad to coat evenly. Adjust your seasonings and serve salad.

4 comments:

Melissa said...

Looks good, I've been looking to try a new pasta salad.

Katie said...

OH YUM! What a great idea!!

~Amber~ said...

What a great idea, it looks delicious!

Elizabeth said...

This is what you suggested for my potluck lunch at work!! Everyone loved it and so did I! Good Find!