Antipasto Pasta Salad

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Summer gatherings at my home always had two constants – laughter echoing around and a massive bowl of my Nonna’s antipasto pasta salad. Memories of neighbors and relatives eagerly awaiting the unveiling of her pasta masterpiece are as vivid as yesterday. The vibrant colors of the ingredients mingling with the delectable aroma set the perfect scene for the stories and warmth that followed.
Just last week, a dear friend dropped by reminiscing about those summer days. She was eager to recreate that taste for her family. Delighted to pass on Nonna’s legacy, I shared the recipe, which is more than just a list of ingredients; it’s a sprinkle of memories, a dash of traditions, and a whole lot of love.

How to Prepare Antipasto Pasta Salad

Ingredient for Antipasto Pasta Salad

  • 1 lb of shell-shaped pasta
  • 1/2 lb of cubed Asiago cheese
  • 1/4 lb of sliced Genoa salami
  • 1/4 lb of diced pepperoni
  • 3 ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 1 medium-sized red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium-sized green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 can (6 oz) of black olives, drained and sliced
  • 1 pack of dry Italian salad seasoning


  • 3/4 cup of quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp of dried oregano
  • 1 tsp of dried parsley
  • 1 tbsp of grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to preference

Directions for Antipasto Pasta Salad

  1. Begin by boiling a large pot filled with salted water. Introduce the shell pasta and let it cook while stirring occasionally until al dente, approximately 9 minutes. Once done, drain and rinse under cold water, then drain once more.
  2. Shift the cooled pasta into a spacious bowl. Introduce the Asiago, salami, pepperoni, diced tomatoes, both bell peppers, and olives. Lightly dust the salad with the dry Italian seasoning and stir until all ingredients are blended harmoniously. Once mixed, place a lid on it and refrigerate for a minimum of 60 minutes.
  3. For the dressing, blend the olive oil, vinegar, oregano, parsley, Parmesan cheese, salt, and black pepper in a separate bowl. Once emulsified, keep aside until serving.
  4. When it’s serving time, drizzle the prepared dressing over the chilled salad and mix thoroughly.

What’s the best type of pasta for this salad?

The shell-shaped pasta works best as it holds the flavors beautifully, but you can also try fusilli or penne.

Can I use a different type of cheese?

Of course! While Asiago has a distinct flavor, you can replace it with feta or mozzarella based on your preference.

How long can I store the salad in the refrigerator?

The salad tastes best when consumed within 2-3 days. Ensure it’s stored in an airtight container to retain freshness.

Is it necessary to use both red and green bell peppers?

Using both adds color and varied flavor to the salad. However, if you have a preference or only one on hand, feel free to adjust.

Can I add other vegetables to the mix?

Definitely! This salad is versatile. Feel free to add cucumbers, artichokes, or any other veggies you love.

How do I make the salad creamier?

You can add a dollop of mayonnaise or Greek yogurt to the dressing for a creamier texture and richer taste.

Antipasto Pasta Salad

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Refregirate 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 10


  • 1 pound seashell pasta
  • 1/2 pound Asiago cheese diced
  • 1/4 pound Genoa salami chopped
  • 1/4 pound pepperoni sausage chopped
  • 3 medium tomatoes chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper diced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper chopped
  • 1 6 ounce can black olives, drained and chopped
  • 1 .7 ounce package dry Italian-style salad dressing mix


  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste


Make the salad:

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add shell pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, about 9 minutes. Drain, run under cold water to cool pasta, and drain again.
  • Transfer drained pasta to a large bowl.
  • Add Asiago, salami, pepperoni, tomatoes, bell peppers, and olives. Sprinkle dry dressing mix over top and stir until ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Make the dressing:

  • Whisk oil, vinegar, oregano, parsley, Parmesan, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl.
  • Cover and set aside until ready to serve.
  • When ready to serve, pour dressing over chilled salad and mix until well combined.
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