Pelosi Family Pasta Salad

This pasta salad is one of the oldest members of my family. It’s Italian American through and through, meaning it has never missed a single invite to any gathering, and immediately upon its arrival, it lets everyone know its heritage. The tricolor rotini represents the Italian flag, obviously. Add in some salty olives, hunks of cheese, a little meat, and a few pepperoncini, and you’re basically converting the dream antipasti spread into the form of a salad. An herby vinaigrette pulls it all together for the perfect summer side or main course. If and when you make this dish, you’ll automatically become a member of the Pelosi family.

Watch me make this recipe on Instagram!

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Pelosi Family Pasta Salad

Pelosi Family Pasta Salad

  • Author: Dan Pelosi

What You’ll Need

Units Scale
  • Kosher salt
  • 12 ounces tricolor rotini
  • Garlicky Oregano Dressing or 3/4 cup store-bought Italian dressing
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 (7-ounce) can pitted black or
  • Castelvetrano olives, drained and sliced
  • 16 ounces provolone cheese, cubed
  • 4 ounces Genoa salami, roughly chopped
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup chopped pepperoncini
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Red pepper flakes

What You’ll Do

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente according to the package directions. Drain the pasta, then transfer it to a large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the dressing and toss to coat. Set aside to cool for about 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, halve the tomatoes lengthwise and place them cut side down on a paper towel to soak up excess moisture.
  3. Add the tomatoes, olives, provolone, salami, chickpeas, pepperoncini, and basil to the cooled pasta. Generously season with salt, black pepper, and pepper flakes. Whisk the dressing to recombine and pour it over the pasta salad. Toss to coat and taste for seasoning.
  4. Serve right away or, even better, wrap the bowl tightly with cling wrap and refrigerate for a day or up to 1 week before serving.

Make It Step By Step With Me:

1. Cook 12oz box of tricolor rotini until al dente.

2. Place cooked pasta in a large bowl, coat with olive oil, and place in refrigerator to cool.

3. Next, make the dressing. Place the following into a small bowl:

½ cup olive oil

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons dried oregano

½ tsp kosher salt

¼ tsp red pepper

1 tablespoon spicy mustard

6 garlic cloves, minced

4. Whisk until fully combined. Set aside to let the flavors get to know each other. Be sure to whisk again before you add to the pasta salad later.

5. Now, slice your tomatoes in half lengthwise then flip over onto a paper towel let juices absorb from the cut side of the tomato. The above photo is not of the tomatoes on their cut side—I forgot to take that photo. So basically, do the opposite of the above photo and forgive me for failing you.

6. As your pasta cools and your dressing blooms and your tomatoes sweat, prepare the rest of your salad ingredients:

1 6oz can of black olives, strained and chopped

handful of basil leaves, torn

12 oz of provolone cheese, cubed

½ cup chopped pepperoncinis

4 oz Genoa salami, diced

7. It’s finally time for the main event! Grab all your ingredients and dump everything into the bowl with the pasta. Give your dressing one last whisk and pour it over the pasta.

8. Stir to combine, add extra salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste and refrigerate before serving. Enjoy!