I’m so thrilled to bring you not one, but two super budget-friendly meals this week! Starting with this gem: Antipasti pasta salad. It’s just in time for those Labor Day Weekend barbecues you’ve got lined up, too. This also happens to be an almost no-cook meal. Besides boiling water for the pasta all you have to do is open some jars/cans and get chopping, which is perfect since it’s about 300 degrees here in Chicago with 110% humidity.
If you happen to live near a Trader Joe’s you’re in luck because you can score all of these ingredients from their shelves. No TJ’s? No worries. I’m sure you can find these ingreds at any grocery store. Here’s what we’re working with:
The final tally, counting everything above including the not-pictured ingredients (but not the olive oil & vinegar since you likely already have those) comes to just $15.33. As a side in a BBQ spread you could easily feed 8-10 people. Since this was dinner for me (and lunches for the next few days) I’d say you could serve it as din to about four adults. Not bad, not bad at all.
Oh and did I mention how delicious it is? Just look at those bites of Mediterranean goodness…delicious is pretty much the only direction this situation could go.
Antipasti Pasta Salad
Serves 8-10 as a side, 4 as an entree
For the pasta salad:
3/4 to 1 pound whole wheat fusilli
1 jarred roasted red pepper, chopped
1 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts in water, drained, chopped
1 (3.8 oz) can sliced black olives, drained
1/2 cup marinated mushrooms in garlic (from a 16 oz jar), not drained, chopped
1/2 cup julienne cut sun dried tomatoes (from a 3 oz bag), chopped
8 oz ciliegine fresh mozzarella (little mozzarella balls), drained, each ball quartered
3 oz calabrese or genoa salami (mine was in a 5 oz package), cut into thin strips
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 Tbsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
For garnish: 10-12 fresh basil leaves, chopped
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, set aside and let cool.
Once pasta has cooled, add to a bowl along with rest of pasta salad ingredients.
Combine vinaigrette ingredients in a bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined. Pour onto pasta ingredients. Mix until pasta salad is coated in vinaigrette. Add basil and mix to distribute throughout salad. Serve chilled or room temperature.