16ouncesrotini noodleswhole grain, gluten free, or regular
1/4cupsliced Spanish olives
1/4cupKalamata olivespitted and halved
1/2cupjarred roasted red pepperschopped
1small vidalia onion or red onionfinely minced
6ouncesdiced Hard Salami (or pepperoni)optional
Red Wine Vinaigrette
1/2cupextra virgin olive oil
1/4cupred wine vinegar
Cook the pasta according to directions in heavily salted water. Drain well.
Make the vinaigrette by blending the olive oil, vinegar, capers, salt, garlic, and oregano together until well blended.
Toss the drained pasta with 1/4 of the red wine vinaigrette and then let cool before adding the remaining dressing.
Add in the tomatoes, olives, peppers and parsley and toss.
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight before serving.
Noodles--Be sure to choose a pasta that has twists and curves so that the noodle can hold on to some of the additions to the pasta salad.
Red Wine Vinaigrette--While you can certainly use bottled Italian dressing, the homemade red wine vinaigrette is incredibly simple to make and tastes so much better.
Tomatoes--Cherry or grape tomatoes are the perfect bite-size for this recipe. If you opt to use vine-ripened tomatoes, be sure to deseed the tomatoes before chopping to keep the pasta salad from becoming watery.
Olives--I opt for a combination of Spanish and Kalamative olives, as they have the richest flavor. Canned black olives can be used, but the flavor is not as good.
Onions--Use a red or Vidalia onion. White or yellow onions can be used, but have a much stronger taste and can overwhelm some of the delicate flavors. I would only half a white or yellow onion if you opt to use one of those varieties.