Friday, July 1, 2016

Muffuletta Pasta Salad


Muffuletta Pasta Salad is a great addition to any picnic or cookout. I used my Olive and Veggie Relish and Italian salad dressing to really give this pasta salad a big punch of flavor.  Since there is no mayonnaise used in this pasta, it's perfect for a potluck.  You can serve this pasta at room temperature or chilled.

I used whole grain rotini pasta and mini pepperoni in this pasta salad.  You can even use diced ham in it if you prefer.  This was a perfect side dish to our barbecue.

The relish can be used in many ways, so make a big batch. I have used it as a condiment to deli (muffuletta) sandwiches, as a topping to hot dogs and burgers and even as a salsa with chips. 

 Muffuletta Pasta Salad
Recipe by Ramona from Kitchen Simmer


Muffuletta Pasta Salad:
1lb Pasta (I used whole grain rotini)
11/4 cups Italian Salad Dressing from a bottle
11/2 cups Olive and Giardiniera Relish (see recipe below)

1 cup chopped fresh grape tomatoes
1 cup chopped fresh green bell peppers
large handful small pepperoni slices (or large pepperoni cut into pieces)

Olive and Giardiniera Relish Recipe
1/2 large white cauliflower finely chopped
2 large carrots finely chopped
2 stalks celery finely chopped
1 large onion finely chopped
4-5 cloves garlic finely minced
5-6 sweet peppers or large red bell pepper finely chopped
2 jalapeno peppers or serrano peppers finely minced
1 cup water
1 cup white wine vinegar
2 Tbs white sugar
1 Tbs salt (regular white iodized salt)
2 tsp red chili flakes-or to taste
2 tsp dried oregano
1 cups chopped manzanilla olives
1/4 cup canola oil

Tip:  To chop cauliflower, celery, carrots, peppers, onion, garlic and olives, I recommend pulsing ingredients one at time in a food processor. 

Step 1:  wash and peel ingredients as needed.  Coarsely chop and then place in a food processor chop.  Pluse the food processor so not to over process the ingredients.

Step 2:  Place the chopped cauliflower, carrots, celery, peppers, onion, garlic, white wine vinegar, sugar, water, oregano, red chili flakes and salt into large pan and cook on high heat for 7-8 minutes.

Step 3: After cooking ingredients, turn stove off and add chopped  manzanilla olives and canola oil.  Taste for salt and seasoning.  Place relish in clean glass jars and allow to cool down.  Store in fridge for 2 weeks.   

Step 1:  Cook pasta in well salted water until tender.  Drain and rinse with water to cool down.  

Step 2:  Toss pasta with Italian dressing, relish, tomatoes, peppers and pepperoni.  Season with salt and black pepper to taste.  Serve at room temperature or chilled.

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