Monday, August 6, 2012

Italian Salami Pasta Salad with Lemon Parmesan Vinaigrette

It's a Civic Holiday here in most of Canada, which essentially means an excuse to give us all a long weekend in August because hey - we don't have a real holiday to give us the day off! We're spending our "extra day" finally finishing up the menial chores in the garden, basement, garage and kitchen, but I know a good amount of my fellow Canadians that are still living it up at the cottage, boat or at family gatherings and picnics. 

Yesterday, I shared one of the goodies we brought to my stepbrother's recent engagement party - Julia Child's Oeufs à la Diable. Since my mom is fairly well known in our family as being a wonderful cook (I know, I lucked out with a foodie for a mom), she was also asked to bring a pasta or potato salad to round out the already gratuitous spread - which included the aforementioned eggs, veal scaloppine, chicken in some sort of gooey cream sauce, bread, coleslaw, garden salad, antipasti, cocktail shrimp, steamed vegetables with olive oil and herbs, corn on the cob and a full dessert table featuring (amongst other things) gelato, cannoli and a three tiered cake. Plus a very well stocked bar (we're talking 2 cases of wine and 6 of beer in addition to the hard stuff). You'd think that they were serving a hundred (or two) people - in reality, only 75 were invited, and out of those a grand total of 41 came. Needless to say, we are now the grand recipients of a lot of leftovers! 

Thankfully, while the chicken and veal are a bit on the "rich and gloopy" side for everyday dinners (though my stepbrother took them for lunches all last week), we also got a full tray of veggies that my mom's been using for dinner and that I pureed into a soup for her lunches, as well as the leftovers of this pasta salad. I'm kind of proud of this one - its full of sauteed veggies, with relatively little pasta, and a touch of flavour packed black pepper hard salami that I had done a product demo for a few months back. It's also not a creamy salad - around here we're not huge fans of the mayo in general, so I whipped up a bright, lemony Parmesan vinaigrette that I adapted from Mountain Mama Cooks for the mixture instead. Not having any eggs, it was safe to keep out on the buffet with the rest of the bread and green salads, and it also lasts longer in the fridge as leftovers! With the meat, pasta and veggies, it's also a light meal in itself which is nice in the throes of Summer when you really want something cool for lunch.

While I never told my mom that the recipe wasn't from a cookbook but that I had written it (she has a "thing" about trusting my food around other people 0_o), she never asked - she just assumed one of the books I had for review was the source. Granted, mom has been incredibly generous with her palate, opinion, pantry and occasionally waistline when it comes to appeasing my foodie tendencies... but you'd think she'd be trusting my own recipes by now!

It's been a looooong time since I last participated in Ruth's blog event Presto Pasta Nights, but this salad was just so summery that I had to share. Be sure to check out her blog (she's host this week) on Friday for all the other noodley nosh!

Italian Salami Pasta Salad
Makes 16 generous servings
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup diced Vidalia onion
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp garlic powder
3 cups broccoli florets
1 red bell pepper, cut into ¾” pieces
1 zucchini, cut into ¾” cubes
¼ cup dry white wine
¾ lb spicy Italian hard salami, cut into ¾” cubes (we used this one by Le Sauciflard)
1 pint halved grape tomatoes
1 pound tri-color rotini (we used Giardino)
1 tbsp salt
½ cup drained chopped black olives, optional
½ cup Parmesan vinaigrette (see below)
  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Add onion and garlic; sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add broccoli, red pepper, zucchini and wine; sauté until vegetables are just tender, about 4 minutes.
  4. Add salami and tomatoes; toss until heated through, about 2 minutes. Transfer to large bowl.
  5. Cook pasta in a large pot of water with the 1 tbsp salt. Drain and immediately add to the vegetables.
  6. Add olives and dressing. Stir to coat well and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Amount Per Serving (including olives)
Calories: 223.6
Total Fat: 8.4 g
Cholesterol: 21.9 mg
Sodium: 418.5 mg
Total Carbs: 26.4 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.5 g
Protein: 10.6 g

Lemon Parmesan Vinaigrette
1 cup, 16 (1-tablespoon) servings
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
1 tbsp sugar
¼ cup finely grated Parmesan
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  1. Whisk all ingredients except for oil until well combined.
  2. Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking constantly until the mixture is combined.
  3. Store dressing in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
Amount Per Tablespoon
Calories: 41.4
Total Fat: 3.8 g
Cholesterol: 1.2 mg
Sodium: 29.2 mg
Total Carbs: 1.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.0 g
Protein: 0.7 g


  1. Boy, this pasta salad looks full of magnificent flavor! Nothing worse than a dull tasting one...I'm afraid of how many helpings I might eat if I made this :)

  2. This is my idea of a perfect summer supper. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights. Welcome back and I do hope to see you around often.

  3. Um, hello! LOOK AT THAT BROCCOLI! I didn't even read your post. I just saw that broccoli...

    haha jk I did read your post. After I saw that broccoli LOL But that last picture really does reel me in. Your mom is missing out if she doesn't trust your recipes!


Thanks for the feedback!