One of the things I cherish most about my family is the rich tapestry of our shared meals. A particular summer comes to mind when my grandmother, a talented cook with an undeniable Greek heritage, decided to surprise us. In the warmth of the season, she made an extraordinary Greek pasta salad, infusing the flavors of the Mediterranean into every bite. The vivid memories of the laughter, joy, and delightful chatter still linger, all underpinned by that flavorful dish.
Recently, during a neighborhood potluck, I was flooded with those beautiful memories. So, I decided to recreate that very same dish, with a hint of my own touch, to share with my lovely neighbors. As expected, it became an instant hit! Today, I am elated to share this cherished family recipe with you, ensuring it’s not just an ordinary post, but a journey back in time, bringing alive those precious moments.
How to Prepare Greek Pasta Salad
Ingredients for Greek Pasta Salad
- 1/2 cup of premium olive oil
- 1/2 cup of authentic red wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of garlic essence
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of sun-dried basil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of aromatic dried oregano
- 3/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
- A pinch of white sugar, about 3/4 teaspoon
- 2 1/2 cups of perfectly boiled elbow pasta
- 3 cups of sliced earthy mushrooms
- 15 ruby-like cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup of crunchy sliced red bell peppers
- 3/4 cup of richly textured feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 cup of freshly chopped green onions
- 1 can of pitted black olives (4 ounces)
- 3/4 cup of pepperoni, sliced artistically into strips
Directions for Greek Pasta Salad
- In an expansive bowl, blend together olive oil, vinegar, garlic essence, basil, oregano, pepper, and a hint of sugar until smooth.
- Introduce the boiled pasta, mushrooms, tomatoes, bell peppers, cheese, green onions, olives, and pepperoni to this dressing.
- Stir gently ensuring every ingredient is well-coated with the aromatic dressing.
- Secure with a lid, allowing it to marinate for 2 hours, although overnight refrigeration produces optimal flavors.
Can I use whole wheat pasta?
Absolutely! Whole wheat pasta adds a nutty flavor and is a healthier alternative. Just ensure it’s cooked al dente.
How long does this salad last in the refrigerator?
This salad is best consumed within 2-3 days when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Is there a vegan alternative for feta cheese?
Of course! There are many vegan feta cheese brands available, or you can use tofu seasoned with a little lemon juice and salt as a substitute.
Can I add other vegetables?
Yes, feel free to get creative. Cucumbers, artichokes, or even spinach can be delightful additions.
What’s the best time to serve this salad?
While it can be served anytime, it’s especially refreshing during summer months or as a side dish for barbecues.
Can I substitute another meat for the pepperoni?
Definitely! Grilled chicken strips or even shrimp can work wonderfully in this salad. Adjust based on your preference.
Greek Pasta Salad
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon white sugar
- 2 1/2 cups cooked elbow macaroni
- 3 cups fresh sliced mushrooms
- 15 cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 cup sliced red bell peppers
- 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions
- 1 4 ounce can whole black olives
- 3/4 cup sliced pepperoni sausage cut into strips
- In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, garlic powder, basil, oregano, black pepper, and sugar.
- Add cooked pasta, mushrooms, tomatoes, red peppers, feta cheese, green onions, olives, and pepperoni.
- Toss until evenly coated. Cover, and chill 2 hours or overnight.