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I rarely cook anything like my mother, but this is the exception. I like it just the way she made it. If she had extras of any of the ingredients, she would add more. She liked it to have a lot of "stuff." She made this for large groups many times by doubling, tripling, etc. the pasta and then throwing in more "stuff." Also, I always make my own salad dressing for anything else. This recipe is the way my mom always makes it, and she always used Kraft dressing. No matter what dressing I have tried on this, it only tastes “right” to me with the Kraft dressing. If you prefer to make your own dressing or use another bottled brand, and you were not raised on my mother’s antipasto salad, use what you like!
- 1 lb small shell pasta
- 1 green bell pepper, cut into small pieces
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 1 large tomato, cut in 1/2 cubes
- 1⁄4 lb pepperoni, cut in 1/4 cubes
- 1⁄4 lb genoa salami, cut in 1/4 cubes
- 1⁄2 lb mozzarella cheese, cut in 1/4 cubes
- 8 ounces black olives, drained and sliced
- 8 ounces green olives, drained and sliced
- 8 ounces Italian dressing (Kraft House brand)
- dried oregano, to taste
- fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- parmesan cheese, grated, to taste
- canned artichoke heart (optional)
- pepperoncini pepper (optional)
- Prepare pasta as directed on box.
- Meanwhile, cut remaining ingredients.
- Drain pasta and rinse with cold water to cool (you do not want mozzarella cheese to melt; you want it to remain in cubes).
- Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
- If you make the salad a day in advance, the flavors will blend, but it soaks up the dressing and you may need to add more before serving.