This easy pasta salad is good for hot days, as all you have to cook is the pasta, and it keeps so well that if you make the whole recipe, you can get two or three meals out of it. It makes a good potluck salad, and is portable enough for Daddy's work lunches, too. This particular recipe is designed to take advantage of package sizes -- a pound of pasta, 8 oz. of salame and 5 of shredded Parmesan -- to simplify things, but the quantities can certainly be adjusted for your own tastes or what you have on hand.
Any smallish pasta works -- gemelli, chifferi, and penne are all good. I like the look of green bell peppers with the reddish salame, but use a variety of colors if you like.
Salame Pasta Salad
1 lb. gemelli or other small pasta
3 or 4 green bell peppers
8 oz. sliced good-quality salame
1 large bunch of fresh basil (2-3 oz.)
3-4 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
4 tablespoons good-quality olive oil
1 1/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese (5 oz.)
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain, and rinse in cold water.
While the pasta is cooking, seed and dice the bell peppers. Slice the salame into strips, and mince the basil.
In a prep bowl, mix together the garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil.
Put the pasta into a large bowl, and add the bell pepper, salame, and basil. Mix thoroughly, add the dressing and the Parmesan cheese, and mix again.
Serves 8 to 10. Preparation time, about 20 minutes. Leftovers will keep pretty well for up to three days in the refrigerator; bring to room temperature before serving.