A crowd-pleasing pasta salad, chock full o’ the good stuff, including ham, genoa salami, provolone cheese, and lots and lots of olives. You know, those little round things that B.O.B. Bob used to hate before I totally forced him to fall in love with them.
Happy Friday y’all. I’m honestly a little sad to see February end this week; not because I haven’t had my fill of hearts and flowers but because this year the beginning of March means that it’s also the kickoff of Lent. Ugghhh! Oh, how I have come to loathe all things Lent. Several years ago, I took it upon myself to start acknowledging its existence under the impression that it would make B.O.B. Bob a better Catholic. I’m not sure if B.O.B. Bob’s relationship with God has changed much due to the absence of meat on Fridays or that he is indeed a better Christian than before, however, I know that by Easter I will be sick to death of eating fish every single little Friday.
So, just what have I decided to give up this year, besides this meat-laden pasta salad that is a total Friday no-no? In the past, I have given up tea and beer, and I can tell you right now that that ain’t gonna happen this year. Without my one tea a day, I become a person you don’t even want to try and have a conversation with; it helps me think and it is not something I will ever force myself to give up again. The beer is a whole lot easier to do without, although it does mean that we would be unable to visit breweries, not to mention St. Patrick’s Day always becomes one big ol’ giant cheat-day. No, I think I’ll keep that around too this year and give up chocolate instead. Ask me how I feel about that in a few weeks? Probably just about the same as B.O.B. Bob used to feel about olives.
- 3/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 5 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons Dried Oregano
- 1 Tablespoon Dried Basil
- 1 Tablespoon Hot Sauce
- 1/2 Teaspoon Finely Ground Black Pepper
- 1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1 Pound Pasta (Ditalini Rigati)
- 1 (8-oz.) Honey Cured Boneless Hamsteak, Diced
- 2 (1/4-inch) Slices Deli Provolone, Diced
- 3 (1/4-inch) Slices Deli Genoa Salami, Diced
- 5 Scallions, Diced (Green Parts Only)
- 4 Celery Stalks, Diced
- 1 Large Carrot, Diced
- 1 Cup Sliced Green Olives Stuffed with Pimentos
- 1 (2.25-oz.) Can Sliced Black Olives, Drained & Finely Chopped
- Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, oregano, basil, hot sauce, pepper, and salt; set aside.
- Fill a large pasta pot with cold water and sea salt. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, add the pasta, stir, and then cook according to the package instructions.
- Drain the pasta into a colander and rinse it under cold water for three minutes. Drain well and add to a large bowl.
- Pour the olive oil and herb mixture over the pasta; stir to combine.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the pasta; stir to combine.
- You can use any variety of pasta in this dish you choose. I used this Ditalini Rigati from my trip to DeLallo’s last year.
- Add more salt and pepper to taste if needed. The meat, cheese, and olives in this recipe all contain salt, so make sure to taste the pasta salad before adding any additional salt.
- Break out the good olive oil for this recipe; it will make a huge difference.
- Add additional hot sauce or crushed red pepper for more heat.
- Add diced yellow, green, or red peppers to this pasta salad.
- Replace half of the green olives in this recipe with sliced green olives stuffed with whole garlic cloves.
- Never underestimate a good pair of kitchen shears. I have had the same pair of Wusthof Kitchen Shears for well over ten years and can’t imagine how I would get along in the kitchen without them. They are absolutely perfect for cutting scallions.
- These Pyrex Mixing Bowls are perfect for storing Muffuletta in. I love that they nest easily together, are easy to clean, and have lids that are dishwasher safe.
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