Italian pasta salad. Like, half a recipe.

Pasta salad

I haven’t made much that’s recipe-share-worthy in ages, friends.

Lest you be ridiculously disappointed with me, in my own defense? Our kitchen is still only half unpacked, which means Spencer and I are looking at each other with befuddled expressions searching for spoons or meat thermometers or butter at least once a night. I mean, we have the basics covered; the fridge is stocked with diet soda, I have plenty of chips and salsa, and Spence and I haven’t resorted to arm-wrestling for the last of my grandmother’s homemade peanut butter cups from a recent birthday party.

Yet.

But dinners around here? A little sparse. Simple. Full of fresh vegetables, which is certainly not a bad thing — but I do miss having more at my disposal. Much like before the move, we’re all about streamlined eating around here . . . and though I’m optimistic that we’ll repair our battered pantry before too long, allowing me to un-box about half of our former kitchen, we’re still trying to get organized and find all the things we’ve lost.

Luckily, you don’t need much for pasta salad.

A few years back, Spencer and I went to New York City for a long weekend (and the Book Blogger Convention of yore!) and met up with some of his college buddies in Queens. We had a picnic out in Corona Park, very close to the Unisphere (cool!), and a friend had a big bowl of this pasta salad there for the taking.

We were hooked.

The thing is? It’s really rather simple. Simple enough that I feel a little weird sharing it like I’m a side dish aficionado, but . . . it’s a Thursday, pasta is delicious, and we’re friends, so I know you won’t judge me.

We’ll call this Katie’s Italian Pasta Salad, because Katie is super-nice — and she didn’t get mad when I, a suburban girl with apparent balance issues, fell on her on the subway that day. So. Thanks, Katie! Your kindness has not been forgotten.

And shall be rewarded, someday, with more pasta.

Please note that measurements are, um, suggestions; you can modify as desired to transform this into the side dish of your dreams. Double the tomatoes, double the salami, make it meat-less — whatever floats your boat. This is how we made ours, but I’m pretty sure you can’t mess this up.

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Italian Pasta Salad

Ingredients:
1 box orzo pasta, cooked
1 bottle Italian salad dressing
2 cups cherry tomatoes, chopped in half
1/2 lb. salami, thickly sliced, diced
1/2 lb. provolone cheese, thickly sliced, diced
2 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tbsp black pepper

Cook orzo pasta according to package directions; strain and rinse under cool water, then pour into a large bowl. Add half the bottle of Italian dressing, cherry tomatoes, salami, cheese, Italian seasoning and black pepper, then stir well to combine. Add additional dressing and stir again. Chill before serving. Make and refrigerate for 24 hours for extra flavor and awesomeness.

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