Tired of potato salad at every barbeque? This super yummy macaroni salad gets its lighter flavor from the olive oil and lemon dressing. You can customize and adapt as needed to fit your family’s tastes.
Antipasto Salad (adapted from a recipe in the 1997 Taste of Home Annual Recipes Cookbook, pg. 28)
Stir together 1-2 T. minced garlic, 2 t. dried basil, 1 t. dried oregano, 1/4 t. cayenne pepper, 1/2 t. black pepper and around 2 t. salt (to taste). Feel free to substitute fresh herbs if you are lucky enough to have them, but add a little more than the recipe calls for. Add 1/2 cup olive oil and about 1/3 cup lemon juice and whisk together. It will look like this in the bottom of your bowl. Just whisk it up.
Then throw in 1 (16 oz.) package rotini pasta (cooked and rinsed under cold water) and assorted additions to taste (quartered pepperoni pieces, sliced olives, diced red and green peppers, diced red onion, sliced fresh mushrooms and/or whatever else you like to throw in!) The beauty of this pasta salad is that you can easily change and customize it as you like it. I leave out the mushrooms and red onion when my children are eating it because they don’t like those additions. If you find it needs more dressing for your taste, add another splash of lemon and/or olive oil. It is best to refrigerate this salad for a few hours or even overnight because it allows the flavors to blend. Make sure and stir before serving, as the dressing will pool at the bottom of your bowl. My hubby loves this – he is a huge pasta fan and will eat it by itself as a complete meal!