I still haven’t found my camera cord (le sigh!), but I took a phone pic of the pasta salad I made this weekend.
I’ve made this many times without using a consistent recipe — I usually just eyeball it and add things until everything looks and smells good. The following recipe is really just a guideline; feel free to adjust it as desired!
The Recipe: Pasta Salad With Ham and Provolone
Time: 15-20 minutes
8 oz rotini (or your favorite pasta)
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 cup chopped red peppers
1/2 cup diced ham
1/2 cup diced fresh tomato
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
4 oz provolone cheese
1 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tbsp oregano
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp crushed red pepper
Start a pot of water boiling, and add in a pinch of salt and a few drops of oil. When the water reaches a rolling boil, add in the rotini and cook for 10 minutes (or as directed on the package).
While the pasta is cooking, start chopping up the red pepper, tomato, ham, and basil. If your provolone isn’t shredded (I bought the sliced kind), chop it up into small pieces — if you can, try to make the pieces the same size as the tomato/pepper/ham for consistency.
Drain the cooked pasta, and toss it with olive oil and red wine vinegar in a large bowl. Mix in the spices, ham, cheese, and veggies, and toss until everything is evenly distributed. Cover the bowl, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
This pasta salad was a giant hit as a side dish, and a perfect cold complement to grilled brats and burgers.
Some notes: I’m not a huge fan of creamy pasta salads, so I decided to go with a vinaigrette base instead. I also left olives out intentionally (they’re not my favorite) but if they’re a must-have, please add them in. If you’ve got something more exciting than deli ham (like prosciutto!), that’s totally worth a try, too.
Another note: Letting the pasta cool off a bit after draining is a good idea. If it’s too hot, it’ll melt the cheese and make the salad clumpy.