Whether it’s a holiday celebration or a simple family gathering, an easy to make pasta salad is always my favorite for feeding a crowd. This recipe combines the Tuscan flavors of three different salamis, provolone cheese and classic Italian white beans, with black olives, tomatoes, spinach, onion and egg noodles all tossed up with a creamy-style dressing.
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My mom and I have our favorite place to go for lunch. At this point, there really isn’t much point in even looking at the menu, because our orders are always the same: French onion soup and pasta salad of the day. It doesn’t matter what pasta salad they’re serving as the special that day, we know it’s always going to be good and that my mom is always going to ask for extra dressing. It’s just what she does.
So when I was thinking about creating a recipe using Applegate Naturals® Genoa Salami Trio, I didn’t have to go very far out of my mom’s and my favorite food comfort zone and fork-twirl my pasta noodle in a simple Italian-style Tuscan pasta salad with a creamy dressing. And a little extra for my mom, of course.
It also has the festive colors of the season sporting red, green and white. Well actually, of any season given it transitions smoothly no matter which month it makes an appearance in.
What Makes a Pasta Salad Tuscan?
One of my favorite things about making pasta salad is as long as you have three key components: pasta, dressing, and some combination of flavorings, you can totally riff on the ingredient list and make it your own.
The ingredients in this pasta salad that lend the Tuscan flavor are:
- White beans — a total classic Italian ingredient.
- Olives — you could use green or black olives, I used black here because it’s what I had on hand but the spunk of a green olive would be SO good to try instead.
- Tomatoes — I used sliced cherry tomatoes but sun-dried would be so delicious too.
- Cheese — The sharper pecorino is a more classic Tuscan ingredient, but I took liberty with this component and used chunks of provolone instead.
- Cold cuts — I used Applegate Naturals® Genoa Salami Trio (3 flavors in one package!) but prosciutto would be just as tasty a choice
Instead of going the regular route by using a small shaped pasta (bowtie, penne) or longer twirlable styles (linguine, spaghetti) I took a nod from our favorite restaurant pasta salad and instead used just a basic egg noodle that actually isn’t even Italian. I usually use it for my Chicken Noodle Soup. It’s thicker and a bit denser, and is perfect for absorbing just the right amount of the creamy dressing.
Chopped spinach, basil and/or parsley with sliced red onion add loads of simple flavor and a bit of healthy too.
But my husband’s favorite part of this salad is the salami. He’s all about the salami, and since Applegate Naturals Salami Trio delivers three different pre-sliced styles in one package—uncured Genoa salami, uncured peppered salami, and uncured herb salami—it’s super easy and more economical to add even more Tuscan flavor to this blend. Plus, the salamis are minimally processed with no extra-added nitrates except for those that naturally occur, and is made with humanely raised pork with no antibiotics, ever.
For the creamy dressing you can go one of two ways: the mayo way or the Greek yogurt way. Personally, I prefer using low-fat mayonnaise in this particular recipe, because I like the smoother tang. But if mayo isn’t your thing, plain Greek yogurt serves the purpose well.
A combo of white wine vinegar and Dijon mustard add a bit more zip. It will taste super tangy on its own, but don’t worry, once it melds with the pasta it mellows but still delivers flavor. You could also use white balsamic vinegar (a little sweeter) or red wine vinegar (a little more tart).
Creamy Tuscan Pasta Salad
When cooking your pasta, be sure to add a generous dose of kosher salt to the cooking water once it's come to a boil. This step flavors the pasta as it cooks, and when added after the water has come to a boil, won't pit the bottom of your pan.
- 1 pound long egg noodle pasta
- 2 6-ounce packages Applegate Naturals® Genoa Salami Trio, sliced
- 2 15-ounce cans white beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 8-ounce can sliced black olives, drained
- 2 cups chopped fresh baby spinach leaves
- 2 cups provolone cheese, diced (about 8 ounces)
- 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or parsley, or both
- For the Dressing
- 1 cup mayonnaise or Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano flakes
- Cook the egg noodles in salted water according to the package directions, drain, and rinse with cool water. Add the pasta to a large mixing bowl with the sliced salami, white beans, tomatoes, black olives, spinach, cheese, onion, and basil or parsley.
- To make the dressing, whisk the greek yogurt with the vinegar until smooth. Whisk in the rest of the ingredients and pour the dressing over the pasta salad. Toss to mix and garnish with more herbs.
- The pasta tastes best after it sits for about 30 minutes and can be refrigerated for 3-4 days.
Recipe Ideas to Serve With This Pasta to Make a Meal
- Oven Roasted Chicken with Garlic, Lemon and Rosemary
- Daddy’s Hamburgers
- Buffalo Chicken Drumsticks
- Cilantro Lime Grilled Chicken
- Roasted Turkey Breast with Lemon and Oregano
This post is in partnership with Applegate. As always, thank you for reading and supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. All opinions are always my own. Applegate offers a wide variety of natural, flavorful products that make entertaining during the holidays easier, more delicious, and worry-free. Learn more at www.applegate.com.
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