PEPPERONI PASTA SALAD
What happened to last week’s plans? I didn’t have time to cook as more than I would have liked this week, and I was left having a pantry with a variety of ingredients I wasn’t sure of what I was going to do with. What can I do with half-bag of the spinach left over, some pepperoni you picked up at a sale, a can of beans, and a half-block of cheese called mozzarella? Put them in a bowl and label this a salad! After tasting this mess of ingredients, which I’ve decided to label Pepperoni Pasta Salad, I’m confident I’ll add pepperoni to each salad. The rich, salty, spicy bite was stunning against the mild pasta and spinach. It was delicious!
WHAT TYPE OF DRESSING IS BEST FOR PEPPERONI PASTA SALAD?
While I typically prepare my dressing on the stove, I will purchase them from time to time. I used the canned sauce to make this salad since it’s a lazy weekend, and I had some left in the refrigerator waiting to be utilized. Any dressing, whether Italian or Caesar dressing, would go great with the salad, and you can make your own, purchased from a grocery store or made by hand. Other ingredients will work perfectly with this salad, should you have them in your pantry: Thinly cut red onion, black olives, Rotisserie chicken, bell peppers, and bananas roast red peppers.
HOW TO SERVE PEPPERONI PASTA SALAD
This beautiful and filling salad could count as an entree, mainly when served with delicious Homemade Garlic Bread or a hot cup of roasted red Pepper and Tomato Soup.
P.S. Some of the ingredients I used were on sale, which made a difference in bringing my expenses down. The tomatoes were available at $0.99, and the Boar’s Head pepperoni cost just $2.50 for 6oz. Package. I also picked up the Aldi spinach, which was very affordable. Keep an eye out for sales that can pay off!
Eight oz. bowtie pasta ($0.66)
1 Tbsp of salt (for pasta water) ($0.02)
Four oz. fresh baby spinach ($0.65)
15 oz. are kidney beans ($0.69)
3 oz. pepperoni ($1.25)
4 oz. mozzarella, cubed ($0.94)
1 pint grape tomatoes ($0.99)
6 oz. Italian or Caesar dressing ($2.00)
1 Tbsp Parmesan (optional) ($0.10)
A freshly chopped pepper (optional) ($0.02)
Fill a medium sauce dish with water, and add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring the water in the pot to a boil on high heat. Then add the pasta and cook until the pasta is tender. The pasta should be drained in a colander, then rinsed briefly in cool water to cool the temperature. Allow the pasta to drain thoroughly.
While the pasta cooks, make the remainder of the salad, cut the spinach leaves into small pieces, and put them in a bowl of large size. Drain and rinse the kidney beans and cut the grape tomatoes in half. Add the tomatoes, beans, pepperoni, and cubed mozzarella with the spinach.
After the pasta is cooked, cooled, and then rinsed. Add it to the bowl along with the other ingredients for the salad. Toss all the ingredients until it is well-integrated. Add the dressing to the salad and toss until the salad is completely coated. Serving the salad, garnish with a sprinkle of Parmesan and fresh cracked black pepper sprinkled on the bowls.