RECIPE

Supreme Pizza Pasta Salad

As a side, this dish serves 8. For a complete meal, serve with Philly Steak Sandwiches and Stuffed Cherry Peppers.

Ingredients

  • 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
  • 8 fresh white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 stick pepperoni, casing removed and cut into a small dice
  • 1 pound ball fresh mozzarella or fresh smoked mozzarella, diced
  • 20 leaves fresh basil, torn or thinly sliced
  • 1 pound wagon wheel pasta, cooked to al dente and cooled under cold water, then drained

Dressing:

  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves or Italian dried seasoning
  • 1 rounded tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (eyeball it)
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

Combine tomatoes, onion, mushrooms, peppers, pepperoni, mozzarella, basil and pasta in a big bowl.

Whisk garlic salt, oregano or Italian seasoning, tomato paste and vinegar together in a small bowl. Stream in EVOO (eyeball it) while continuing to whisk dressing. When EVOO is incorporated, pour dressing over pasta salad, add a few grinds of black pepper to the bowl, then toss salad to coat evenly. Adjust your seasonings to taste and serve salad. Leftovers make a great lunch or snack the next day!

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Rachael Ray