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Antipasto Pasta Salad, from Cook's Country


The parent TV Show (America's Test Kitchen) to the Cook's Country Magazine, featured the making of this salad. I might not have made it, had I not been so intrigued by a few great techniques. The quick marinated mushrooms are the star of the salad, and I could have eaten a whole bowl of just these! It's a nice twist on antipasti, and perfect to serve at potlucks. I'll show you how I made this on my own food blog at:

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  • 8 ounces sliced pepperoni , cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 8 ounces soppressata or salami, halved and cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 10 tablespoons red wine vinegar, divided
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 jar pepperoncini (12-ounce), drained, (2 tablespoons juice reserved), stemmed, and chopped coarse
  • 4 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pound fusilli or campanelle
  • 1 pound white mushrooms , quartered
  • 1 cup shredded provolone cheese , aged
  • 12 ounces roasted red peppers , drained, patted dry, and chopped coarse
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil
  • Cook's Country also liked the addition of 1 cup chopped, pitted kalamata olives or 1 cup jarred artichokes, drained and quartered. Use any curly-shaped pasta for this recipe.


Servings 6
Preparation time 45mins
Cooking time 60mins
Adapted from


Step 1

1. Place one paper towel on microwave-safe plate. Arrange pepperoni in single layer on paper towel. Cover with another paper towel and layer sopresatta on towel. Top with another paper towel and microwave on highest power until meat begins to render fat, about 1 minute. Set meat aside.

2. Whisk 5 tablespoons vinegar (1/2 of the 10 tablespoons in the ingredient listing), olive oil, mayonnaise, pepperoncini juice, garlic, red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in medium bowl.

3. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta and cook until al dente. Drain pasta, return to pot, and toss with 1/2 cup dressing and remaining vinegar.

Adjust seasonings, spread dressed pasta on rimmed baking sheet, and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, bring remaining dressing to simmer in large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add mushrooms and cook until they release their juices and are lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer to large bowl and cool.

5. Add meat, provolone, roasted red peppers, chopped pepperoncini, basil, and cooled pasta to mushrooms and toss well. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve at room temperature. Salad can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
NOTE: We loved this salad, but thought it tasted best eaten the same day it was made. The mushrooms are amazing, and I would double them, or even make just the mushrooms as a great appetizer/snack.


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