Starter Salad with Antipasto

This salad, known as antipasto, is bursting with bold Italian flavors. This hybrid dish combines a pasta salad with traditional Italian antipasti, and it’s bursting with contrasting textures and bold flavors. Fresh basil adds so much flavor that you could find it difficult to stop eating it.  I had it for supper at happy hour and it went perfectly with three different salads. It can easily replace a main course because of its substantial size. The best part is that you can tailor it to include just the flavors you prefer. Let’s get in the kitchen!

Just what is an antipasto platter?

The antipasto is the first dish served at an Italian supper. For a single dish, use “antipasto,” while “antipasti” refers to “antipasti” (plural). As in: “To begin the meal, we had a few delightful antipasti.” Some examples of traditional Italian antipasti include prosciutto and other cured meats, olives, artisanal cheeses, marinated vegetables, pepperoncini, and mushrooms.

The Ingredients of an Antipasto Salad

What exactly is an antipasto salad, then? It turns out that this dish is an American creation that simply combines a number of different types of antipasti. There is no universally agreed-upon definition of this salad; some prepare it by tossing together various antipasti, while others incorporate them into larger salads like green or pasta salads. Our twist involves pasta; think of it as an antipasto pasta salad.

You can use whatever you choose in this salad, or happen to have on hand. The following items are typical additions to an antipasto salad:

  • Olives of every hue
  • Hearts of artichoke, preferably marinated
  • Peppers, red, roasted
  • Pepperoncini Cheese: mozzarella or provalone, and if you can find it, marinated fresh mozzarella
  • Pasta
  • Salami, prosciutto, and other cured meats
  • Included vegetables include tomatoes, red onion, romaine lettuce or spinach, and mushrooms.
  • Oregano, fresh basil, and other Italian herbs and spices
  • Pasta, either with gluten or without (a pasta made from legumes might work).

Al dente pasta cooking instructions.

Pasta should be cooked until al dente for this antipasto salad to taste its best. For those who don’t know, describe al dente. Pasta that retains some of its firmness when eaten is called “to the bite” in Italian. An al dente texture should have a soft exterior and a firm bite with a hint of white at the center. Our suggestions for preparing pasta al dente are as follows.

  • Pasta should be boiled in plenty of salty water.
  • Pasta must be checked frequently to ensure it doesn’t overcook.
  • Pasta is done when it is soft on the outside and still has a bit of white in the middle. The difference between al dente and soggy noodles might be as little as a few seconds.

Salad dressing for antipasti

This antipasto salad’s dressing is an adaptation of our Dijon Mustard Dressing. It’s got a little more sugar to counteract the sourness. We’ve upped the ante on the Italian flavor by adding some Italian seasoning. You could even start putting it on your salad greens. It’s simple and fast to make. What you need to make the dressing is:

  • Cider vinegar, white
  • Mustard with a Dijon twist
  • Sugar, or maple syrup
  • Oil of olive

A word on salt-making preferences

We’ve given you a range to work within (12 to 1 teaspoon) when measuring the kosher salt called for in this recipe. Why? differing kinds of olives, marinated versus unmarinated mozzarella, artichoke hearts, and so on all have differing salt content. Including meat in this dish also reduces the amount of salt required. Simply enhance the flavor by adding salt to taste.

Quick Glances


  • Pasta Spirals, Half Pound
  • 1/2 pound plum tomatoes
  • Half of a little white onion
  • 2 cups of romaine lettuce, chopped 14 cup of fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 roasted red pepper from a jar
  • We used green and black olives, each amounting to 1 cup.
  • Artichoke quarters (1 cup, preferably marinated) from a can.
  • a half cup of pepperoncini slices
  • Two tablespoons of white wine vinegar Eight ounces of mozzarella (fresh, cubed, or marinated, if available)
  • 1.5 teaspoons of honey mustard
  • Sugar or maple syrup, to taste, 2 tablespoons
  • Oil, olive, 6 teaspoons
  • One to two pinches of kosher salt
  • 1.25 grams Italian oregano


  • Bring a pot of water to a boil and season it with salt. Pasta should be boiled until it reaches al dente (start testing a few minutes before the packaging suggests cooking time; al dente is when the pasta is soft but still has a bite to it).
  • Cherry tomatoes should be halved. Roughly chop the red onion. Chopping the romaine lettuce and fresh basil. Cut the roasted red pepper into very thin slices.
  • The pasta should be tossed with the vegetables, olives, artichoke quarters, and pepperoncini in a large bowl once it has been cooked and all the liquid has been drained. Throw in some cubed or sliced mozzarella.
  • Mix the white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, and sugar (or maple syrup) in a small bowl. Blend in the olive oil a little at a time.
  • Toss the spaghetti and vegetables in a bowl with the dressing, then season with salt and Italian seasoning. Reconstitute by mixing everything together. You can always season to taste with more salt.

Nutrition Facts

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