Make sure to add enough salt/seasoning for maximum flavor. For this much pasta, you must add enough salt to bring out the tasty flavors. Best part about this salad is that you can totally customize it the way you want. Add more of less of any ingredient to make it perfect to your personal taste! You can use a bottle of your favorite Italian dressing or use the dressing below.
For the Salad:
12-16ounces(340-454g)dried pasta, cooked to package instructions
1cup(110g)small diced mozzarella cheese or shredded parmesan cheese
1cup(150g)halved cherry tomatoes
1/2cup(120ml)chopped fresh basil, or 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1small bell pepper, chopped
1/2cup(80g)minced or sliced red onion
1/2cup(70g)sliced black olives
1/2teaspoon(2.5ml)salt, or to taste
1/2teaspoon(2.5ml)fresh cracked black pepper
16oz.(454ml)bottle Italian Dressing or homemade dressing below
1/2teaspoon(2.5ml)black pepper, fresh cracked if possible
1teaspoon(5ml)dried oregano, or 2 teaspoons fresh chopped oregano
Prepare the pasta: Fill a large bowl (big enough to hold cooked pasta) halfway with ice water. Boil pasta to package instructions. Drain pasta, rinse with cold water and shock the pasta by adding it to the cold water to get it cold fast. Once cold, drain the pasta, transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
If Making Homemade Dressing: In a jar or bowl, add all the dressing ingredients (olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, sugar/honey, salt, pepper, oregano). Shake or whisk the dressing to combine. Taste the dressing and adjust salt, pepper or additional seasonings, to taste.
Add salami, cheese, tomatoes, herbs, bell pepper, onion, black olives, pepperoncinis, salt, pepper and Italian dressing to the pasta bowl.Stir everything together well. Chill pasta salad for at least 1 hour before serving.