Antipasto Pasta Salad Recipe
The star of this mixed antipasto salad recipe has to be the spinach macaroni salad, and that is made in advance and then chilled. Because the antipasto is served chilled, that means you can prepare the whole platter in advance and cover it in plastic wrap. Chill it until required. As well as the pasta salad, you can serve bread sliced into thick fingers, black olives, sundried tomatoes and bell pepper for color and contrast.
Add some cubes of feta cheese too. This is an Italian style tapas platter which makes great finger food. You can offer chorizo, salami, cured ham or some other kind of meat too, if you like. Pour some extra-virgin olive oil into a small bowl and pour some balsamic vinegar straight into it. The vinegar will sink to the bottom. This makes a great dip for the bread fingers.
You can serve this antipasto pasta salad recipe on one large platter or divide it up and give everyone their own plateful. It is nice to share from one large platter though, and everyone can pick what they like, using their fingers, and perhaps enjoying a glass of Italian red wine on the side.
- ½ lb macaroni
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 minced garlic cloves
- 1½ tablespoons minced basil
- ½ tablespoon lemon juice
- Red pepper flakes, to taste
- 1 lb spinach
- Salt, to taste
- Bread, black olives, sundried tomatoes, bell pepper, feta cheese, extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, to serve
- Fresh basil sprigs, for garnish
- Cook the macaroni, reserving 2 tablespoons of the pasta cooking water when draining.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a skillet over a low to medium heat.
- Add the garlic and salt, and sauté stirring frequently for 10 minutes until the garlic is golden.
- Add the spinach to the pan and sauté for a minute or until it wilts, stirring all the time.
- Toss the spinach mixture with the cooked macaroni.
- Stir in the remaining oil, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, minced basil, and the 2 tablespoons of cooking water.
- Chill for an hour.
- Serve on a large platter, with bread, black olives, sundried tomatoes, bell pepper, feta cheese, and some extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
- Garnish with basil sprigs.
You can see the antipasto pasta salad recipe between the bread fingers and the sundried tomatoes, and this mixed antipasti plate certainly makes an attractive appetizer. The balsamic vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil makes a great dip for the bread too, as well as for the other ingredients. The word ‘antipasto’ means ‘before the meal’ in Italian, and the plural is ‘antipasti’ which loosely translates to mean appetizers. Add anything else you like to the platter, such as cold meats or fish, or other kinds of cheese. Just ensure it is mostly finger food and provide small forks too.
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