Italian Pasta Salad

Italian Pasta Salad is a staple for any cookout, bbq or big social get together in our family. My mom has been making this for years, and it is one of our favorites. The best part is that it is really easy to make! The KEY to this pasta salad is the dressing - it HAS to be Ken's Italian Salad Dressing, it is just the best one out there. When we lived in Florida I couldn't find it and my mother in law used to mail it to me. There just is no substitute for Ken's Italian :) It is a staple in my kitchen.

1 box of tri color rotini pasta (if making this for a crowd, you add another half of a box)
1 jar of green spanish olives, halved
1 can of large black olives, cut into thirds (do not buy presliced, make sure you get the whole ones and slice them yourself)
4 stalks of celery heart, washed and sliced into thin slivers (about 1/4 inch) - the hearts are much more tender and less stringy, and I use the entire stick, leaves and all
1/2 lb of genoa salami, get at deli in one large piece about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch thick, then cut into small chunks (optional)
1/2 cup of Ken's Italian dressing, or to taste
Slice green and black olives and celery and put into a large mixing bowl. Cook pasta until al dente (make sure you salt that water generously once it boils to flavor the pasta) and strain, then run under cold water to cool down. Mix pasta with olives and celery (and salami if using), then dress with Italian salad dressing and mix very well. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours (or overnight) and then mix well. Taste to see if there is enough dressing, if necessary add more and serve! I usually mix this in a large bowl to make it easier to stir, and then transfer to a smaller serving dish before serving.
I usually make this as a side dish for cookouts (great since it doesn't require to stay cold). It tastes great without the salami too.


  1. Just looking at it makes me think of summer!


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