Monday, April 6, 2015

Muffaletta Pasta Salad

If you have ever been to New Orleans, then you know that the food is as much of an attraction as are the sites. I loved every bit of what I had to eat from the beignets, to the soft-shelled crabs, to the pralines, and the iconic Muffaletta sandwich. The Muffaletta is a New Orleans original dating back to the early nineteen hundreds. Essentially it is a round loaf of bread, hollowed out and filled with meats, cheeses, and a deliciously tangy olive salad. It is one of my favorite sandwiches and I am thankful that a café down the street serves a darned good one.

I'm always looking for ways to inject New Orleans flavors into everyday foods, so when I spotted this recipe for
Muffaletta Pasta Salad  on Allrecipes, I had to give it a try. The original recipe didn't quite make it for me, so I changed it up a bit, adding thinly sliced rings of pepperonicini for some zing, and a bit of creamy Italian salad dressing to make it darned near perfect. It serves equally well as a side dish or main meal, and it's tough to stop eating this one.

Muffaletta Pasta Salad
1 pound rotini pasta (I used Farfalle)
5 ounces tapenade 
 Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 (6.34 ounce) package
Melissa's artichoke hearts,
drained and quartered
8 ounces sliced salami, cut into thin strips
8 ounces sliced baked ham, cut into thin strips
1 (6 ounce) can black olives, drained
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, cubed
4 ounces provolone cheese, cubed
2 whole pepperoncini, sliced into thin rings
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1/4 bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons creamy Italian salad dressing

Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente. Drain and run under cold water to cool.

Mix tapenade into pasta and season with pepper. Add artichoke hearts, salami, ham, olives, mozzarella cheese, provolone cheese, pepperoncini, red bell pepper, and parsley to pasta mixture and toss to coat. Transfer salad to a serving bowl and stir in Italian salad dressing.  Serve immediately.
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Marigene said...

New Orleans is my favorite city in the country...♥ that city's food!
This salad looks delicious...and best of all, so easy to make.

Unknown said...

New Orleans is also one of my favorite cities as well (I saw the first comment)- especially the muffalettas! Definitely pinning this. Would you mind if I shared a text link to this on Friday (I link to blogs I like each Friday)? Either way thanks for sharing!

I stopped by from The Scoop.

Unknown said...

Muffalettas are great! I'm going to try this salad! Pinning!

NewMrsAdventures said...

What a gorgeous salad! Thank you so much for linking up at Tasty Tuesday! Your recipe has been pinned to the Tasty Tuesday Pinterest board! Please join us again this week!