Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Pepperoni Pizza Pasta Salad

This summer I've been craving cold pasta salads. And I've made a lot of different kinds.  Making small changes here & there.  I've made so many veggie pasta salads because I was trying to use a lot of those vegetables that were coming from our garden and what we were getting from friends.  But after a while, nothing was really floating my boat, so to speak.  I still wanted my pasta salad - but I needed something to get my tastebuds moving again.  And then I saw this recipe over at Basilmomma.  It looked incredibly easy to make (which I liked!) but it was a little something different.  Something to change up the usual cold pasta salad routine.  And I couldn't believe I never thought of it before.  It was incredibly tasty and there are a lot of possibilities with this one.  You could certainly add more of your favorite veggies to it like green peppers and mushrooms.  If you get your hands on some fresh mozzarella or if you like to make mozzarella yourself, I think it would taste amazing in this.  Let me show you how quickly this whips up!
 Ingredients:
1 lb. box of penne pasta
1 (8 oz.) package whole pepperoni
1 (8 oz.) package mozzarella cheese
1 (16 oz.) bottle of your favorite Italian dressing
1 cup grape tomatoes
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)

You can usually find these sticks of pepperoni near the bags of sliced pepperoni.
If not, you can get a 1/2 lb. block of pepperoni from the deli counter at your grocery store.
(Parmesan cheese not pictured here)

Directions:
In a large stock pot of boiling water, cook your pasta until al dente (following the directions on the back or side of the box).

When finished cooking, drain and rinse pasta with cool water.
Let it drain well, then add to a large lidded bowl.
Chop up all your mozzarella and pepperoni into 1-inch cubes.
And slice the grape tomatoes in half (I usually cut them lengthwise).
  Add those to your cooled pasta
Pour your bottle of Italian dressing on top.
You don't have to use the whole bottle.
This all comes down to taste. 
Give it all a good stir.
 Next, if you are using, add your shredded Parmesan Cheese and give it another good stir.
  Cover with plastic wrap or a fitted lid.
 Then pop it in the fridge to cool for at least 2 hours.
And serve!
Cook's Notes: If you want to "up" the Italian flavor, you can always add additional Italian
 spices to this. Heather from Basilmomma suggested: 1 tsp. each of Oregano, Basil, Red
 Pepper flakes, Fennel Seed, Garlic Powder and Salt & Pepper (to taste). 

Enjoy!

13 comments:

Basilmomma Heather Tallman said...

Fantastic!! Thank you :)

Ruth Huggins said...

What a perfect meal to make during the week! Thanks so much for sharing!!

Tracy | Screaming Sardine said...

Oh, that looks yummy! I made a pizza pasta salad - more like a casserole to be served warm. I LOVE this idea of a cold pizza pasta salad!

Cheers,
Tracy

Ellen B Cookery said...

What a great idea! This looks so delicious and full of flavour!

Kate H.(www.sprinkletherapy.blogspot.com) said...

Yummy! I love pasta salads when it's hot outside!

The Better Baker said...

I'm not even wild about pasta dishes, but this looks absolutely mouth-watering. NICE! Thanks for sharing this simple dish. I'm sure my hubs would/will LOVE it!

Heather said...

Looks so yummy, and packable for work lunches :)

MrsJenB said...

You've inspired me to make my antipasto pasta salad as soon as I'm feeling better! It involves your ingredients + olives, green peppers and balsamic. Soooo good! I usually make it for work events and it disappears in no time. Good thing I always keep some at home for me...! ;)

~Dawn~ said...

We have been making this pizza salad for years - love it! The idea is that anything you would put on a pizza would go well in here. We use all different colors/kinds of peppers, don't forget the mushrooms and olives and I never make this salad without red onions. Just a note..... if you plan to make this in advance the night before and maybe take it as a dish to pass at a picnic be sure to add the mushrooms the day of and as close to serving as possible - they turn dark brown and are fine however, they don't look to appealing :) Yummy!

Candace said...

I wouldn't change a thing about this salad. It looks sooooo good!

Anita at Hungry Couple said...

This really does look quick, easy and delicious.

Debra Kapellakis said...

Yum.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this recipe! It is so easy and makes perfect leftovers for lunches and dinners! I didn't use pepperoni, and I had to use pepperjack cheese because I couldn't find the mozzarella block at the store. It turned out great! This is my current favorite dish :)