The Life of Jennifer Dawn: Homemade Antipasto Pasta Salad with a Fresh Herb Vinaigrette (And our favorite pizza to pair with it!)

Friday, June 29, 2018

Homemade Antipasto Pasta Salad with a Fresh Herb Vinaigrette (And our favorite pizza to pair with it!)

This post is sponsored by Red Baron but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Family pizza night gets an upgrade with a classic crust pizza paired with this recipe for homemade Antipasto Pasta Salad. It's a delicious combo that will have everyone asking for seconds! If you're looking for an effortless summer meal, this one is sure to be a crowd pleaser!
Friday nights have become pizza and movie night for our family. It's a time for us to all come together at the end of a busy week to relax, share a meal, laugh, and just enjoy being with each other.

It's also one night that I don't have to answer the question, "What am I going to make for dinner?" Our favorite pizza from Red Baron helps calm the mealtime chaos. Their pizza crust is perfection--not too thick and not too thin. It's a crispy, airy, flaky layered crust that is simply classic. My mom, two of the kids, and I can all enjoy cheese while my husband can savor a meatier option. (I do have to still come up with a non-dairy option for my youngest who has a severe allergy, but we have that one covered.) Yes, the mealtime battle is no longer a battle on Fridays.
Some weeks I like to add extras to our Friday meal such as breadsticks, sides, salads, or even pasta salads like the homemade Antipasto Pasta salad I'm sharing with you today. Made with fresh herbs and vegetables from our garden, it's a pasta salad that's perfect for summer. Paired with pizza or as a standalone meal, this is a dish your family will want to enjoy again and again.

During the summer months, I try to come up with as many recipes as I can that incorporate the ingredients we pick from our garden. We've been harvesting lettuce and kale from the garden since spring, but the tomatoes finally came in and ripened enough to pick. Although this recipe for Antipasto Pasta Salad does call for two canned ingredients, the onions and herbs are also fresh.
Don't have a garden? No worries! Your local farmer's market or grocery store is sure to have you covered.

Ready to try this tasty, homemade pasta salad for yourself? Grab those ingredients and let's start cooking. The fresh ingredients and tangy zest from the vinaigrette make it a perfect appetizer or standalone meal for summer! Oh, and don't forget to throw one of those tasty Red Baron pizzas in the oven while you're prepping your pasta salad.

Antipasto Pasta Salad
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. dry rotini pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh kale, chopped
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1 6-ounce can black olives, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella pearls
  • salt and pepper (optional)
Directions
  1. Cook the rotini pasta according to the package instructions. I always cook mine with a generous drizzle of olive oil and a dash of salt in the water.
  2. Prepare your antipasto ingredients while the pasta is boiling. Chop the tomatoes and onions. Drain and rinse the olives. Drain the artichoke hearts. You can use more or less of these ingredients depending on your personal tastes.
  3. Add the chopped kale into the boiling water during the last few minutes of cooking. This will soften it.
  4. Drain the pasta and kale and rinse with cold water. Pour into a large serving bowl.
  5. Add the onion, artichoke hearts, black olives, and tomatoes.
  6. Mix up the vinaigrette recipe shown below. Drizzle it over the pasta. Toss the ingredients together. Salt and pepper to taste. I added a few generous dashes, but this is optional if you'd prefer a less seasoned batch.
  7. Add the mozzarella pearls and gently incorporate them into the pasta.
  8. This pasta is wonderful served immediately after cooking or even chilled. Enjoy!
Fresh Herb Vinaigrette
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Directions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl.
  2. Whisk until well-blended.
  3. Pour over salad.
What's your family's favorite side dish or appetizer to eat with pizza? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below. And for more about our family's go-to pizza for family movie night, click on over to the Red Baron site.

Happy cooking!

2 comments:

  1. Yum! My garden is just starting to take off this year and I couldn't be happier about it! I have a question though about oregano. I always grow it and dry it to store and use later because it seems to be pretty spicy/hot fresh... at least it is too hot for my kids. Do you have a variety that isn't? Or are your kids just tougher than mine are?

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    Replies
    1. Hi! Thanks for stopping by. This year we grew Greek Oregano. For this recipe you are only using one tablespoon that has been minced. Once the vinaigrette has been poured over all the other ingredients, there isn't a strong taste. Give it a try and see what you think. You could also use less fresh oregano or even cut it out altogether and replace it with dried oregano or an herb that your family loves more. That's one of the things I love most about cooking--the ability to change things up and get creative in the kitchen.

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