Friday, July 2, 2010

You'll eat this antipasto salad twice,
because it is so nice

Louis Prima sang that he ate antipasto twice, because Angelina, the waitress at the local pizzeria, was so nice.
   Here's an antipasto dish that will entice people to have seconds without any added motivation!
   It’s Antipasto Pasta Salad (click here for the recipe at the website), a terrific, easy-to make dish that will be a hit at your next casual backyard get-together. It would be great alongside chicken or pork. The recipe makes a ton (six main-course servings!), so there will be no shortage.
   In Italian, antipasto means “before the meal,” and is a traditional first course that includes cured meats, olives, artichoke hearts, cheese and marinated peppers.
   All of those things are here, mixed in with rotini pasta. I used multigrain rotini, and it worked great.
   To make it, the rotini is cooked, rinsed and drained. It doesn’t matter how long the rotini sits as the rest of the dish is prepared, as it is served at room temperature. In fact, I let the rotini cook, then moved on to preparing the rest of the dish.
   Red-wine vinegar and olive oil are whisked together in a large bowl, then chopped marinated artichokes, jarred roasted red peppers, cubed mozzarella, sopressetta or salami, pitted and chopped Kalamata olives or other black olives and fresh parsley are added and mixed. The pasta is put in and everything is tossed together.
   One tip: Serve this dish at room temperature, as the recipe says – it lets the flavours out. It will do fine being refrigerated before serving or afterwards with leftovers; just take it out and let it return to room temp before enjoying.

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