To be perfectly honest, I feel a little bit silly posting a pasta salad recipe, as this blog is in place partly to stretch my creativity in the kitchen. Pasta salad is so delicious, but it really isn’t that creative, and everyone has a version of it. However, as I made this particular salad and took some photos, I realized that because of the simplicity and accessibility of pasta salad, each household’s version is so different from the next. Which kind of makes it an American cultural staple. My mom puts pepperoni in it, and I have a friend who tosses it in creamy dressing instead of a vinaigrette. No matter what is done to a pasta salad, I could eat a giant bowl and not feel the slightest ounce of regret (well, maybe I should feel a little regret). That said, I decided to share one of my favorite ways of making pasta salad, and I hope you get some inspiration on how to further personalize your own pasta salad recipe.
Mini Ravioli Pasta Salad
- 1 pound dried mini ravioli
- 1 can large black pitted olives
- 10-15 cherry tomatoes
- ½ pound cubed pancetta
- ½ cup peas
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella
- ¼ cup diced red onion
- ¾ cup arugula or spinach
- ¼ – ½ cup vinegar based dressing (suggested dressing recipe below)
- Cook pasta according to package instructions. When done, rinse with cold water until pasta is at a manageable temperature.
- On medium heat, cook pancetta to desired crispiness. Drain the majority of the fat. Add peas and remove from heat once peas have cooked through.
- Slice mozzarella into bite size pieces, slice cherry tomatoes into quarters, and rough chop arugula into smaller pieces.
- Combine all ingredients into a large bowl
- Dress with favorite vinegar based dressing
Champagne Vinaigrette Dressing
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- ¼ cup champagne vinegar (substitute with any salad vinegars)
- ½ cup olive oil
- In a bowl, whisk together mustard and vinegar
- While whisking quickly, slowly drizzle olive oil into vinegar mixture, and stop once the desired taste and consistency is reached
- Season with black pepper and salt if neededNote: this is a very typical dressing, and likely won’t require a full ½ cup of olive oil. The key to nailing this is stopping to taste once you have added about ¼ cup of olive oil and adjusting how much more you will add, if any!