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You know that pasta salad from childhood (you know the one—rotini, canned olives, underripe grape tomatoes, cubed cheese)? It showed up at cookouts, sleepovers and every occasion in between, and it holds a special place in hearts a plenty—or at least it does around our office. So, we made a few swaps to create a fully grown uptake that still hits all the nostalgic notes we crave. Think a more sophisticated nood (we went orecchiette, but you can go with whatever you like!), buttery Castelvatrano olives (i.e. the best olives), juicy-sweet heirloom cherry tomatoes for dynamic color, hunks of savory salami, rich and creamy mozzarella pearls, radishes for fresh crunch, and an easy, from-scratch Italian dressing. Sure, it may require a trip to the grocery store’s olive bar, but trust us, it’s so worth it. 

Recipe by MyRecipes


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary

10 mins
40 mins
Serves 8 (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups)




Instructions Checklist
  • Prepare the Pasta Salad: Toss together cooked orecchiette, tomatoes, salami, mozzarella, olives, parsley, and radishes in a large bowl.

  • Prepare the Italian Dressing: combine olive oil, vinegar, shallots, oregano, Dijon, garlic, honey, thyme, salt, crushed red pepper, and black pepper in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake until dressing is emulsified. 

  • Pour dressing over pasta mixture, gently toss until pasta is evenly coated. Chill 30 minutes before serving for flavors to develop.