Italian Pasta Salad

  • 1-lb tri-color pasta, rotini or bowtie
  • 1 cup oil-based Italian dressing, your favorite
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 English cucumber, seeds removed and diced
  • 1/2 medium red onion, diced
  • 1/2 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 can black olives, halved or sliced
  • 4 ounces sliced pepperoni, quartered
  • 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, cubed
  • a generous handful of chopped, fresh herbs like basil, parsley, chives


A day before you plan to serve the salad, cook your pasta as directed on the package in boiling, salted water.  While the pasta is cooking, prepare the vegetables.

Drain the pasta and pour it into a bowl. Add 1/2 cup of the dressing, while the pasta is still hot, tossing to distribute well. Set aside to cool.

When the pasta has cooled to room temperature, add the rest of the ingredients and 1/4 cup of Italian dressing. Reserve the rest of the dressing for just before you serve the pasta salad. Toss well, making sure everything is well coated with the dressing and all the ingredients are well distributed throughout the salad. Cover and chill.

Before serving, stir the salad and taste.  Does it need more dressing?  If yes, add the remaining 1/4 cup of Italian dressing and stir to combine.