Looking for great summer pasta salad recipes? Farfalle with Pepperoni, Mozzarella and Broccoli hits all the right notes! No mayonnaise in the easy pasta salad dressing makes this a no-brainer for outdoor summer entertaining!
The pool has hit 80 degrees! I know, I know. Most of you are just happy that the snow has finally receded enough to allow a few green shoots to nose their way out of the dirt. Still, no matter what the temperature this Farfalle with Pepperoni, Mozzarella and Broccoli is a winner on every table and as the days warm up, you’ll be looking for summer pasta salad recipes like this one.
Here in South Florida, we are in full-on summer mode. The humidity is back and the sun is brutal. Which means that when we have a barbecue any time between May and October, the only dress code includes a hat, sunscreen and a bathing suit.
Why Farfalle with Pepperoni, Mozzarella and Broccoli?
When we are entertaining outdoors, a quickly assembled pasta salad (no mayo) is always welcome. I like this one because the only cooking involved is farfalle itself. Everything else is just chopping.
Giving this farfalle pasta salad an interesting twist, is spicy, meaty pepperoni, cut into bite-sized chunks. Don’t forget to peel the papery thin casing from the sausage (I may have made that mistake once).
Another showstopper in this summer pasta salad recipes is the mozzarella cheese. I mean, it is called Farfalle with Pepperoni, Mozzarella and Broccoli, right? You can use a large ball of fresh mozzarella diced into cubes or those cute little bocconcini or “pearls” of mozzarella.
Farfalle, also known as bowtie pasta, is the ideal pasta for this salad. It’s big enough to be seen and is roughly in the size range of the other ingredients. That’s important because, as in a chopped salad, you want everything to be about the same size.
Aside from the bowtie pasta, which everyone loves, it’s also got crisp broccoli florets, crunchy bell peppers and red onions. But the kalamata olives and sliced pepperoncini peppers add a briny zing to the dish and balance the richness of the mozzarella and pepperoni. Winner! To tie the salad together, go with an easy pasta salad dressing that skips the mayonnaise. I’ve used a simple, vibrant lemon vinaigrette with plenty of garlic and a bit of dijon mustard to emulsify the dressing and add a piquant tangy quality.
This dish travels well! So if you’re looking for a great potluck salad recipe, farfalle with pepperoni, mozzarella and broccoli is it. Bring a large batch to your next picnic or cookout to go with the burgers, chicken or ribs and watch everyone devour it.
Farfalle with Pepperoni, Mozzarella and Broccoli
- 1/2 red onion large, thinly sliced crosswise
- 2 cups broccoli floretsbite-size, separated into small pieces
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives halved
- 1 cup tomatoes chopped or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup pepperoncini peppers sliced into rings
- 12 oz package of farfalle pasta cooked
- 7 oz pepperoni paper skin removed, diced
- 1 cup mozzarella large fresh mozzarella, diced
- 1 lemon zested and juiced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons juice from pepperoncini pepper jar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
- 1 cup basil leaves fresh, torn or roughly chopped
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta. Cook, stirring occasionally about 9-10 minutes or until al dente. Drain water from pasta and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside.
- In a large bowl combine the red onion, broccoli florets, bell pepper, olives, tomato, pepperoncini peppers, mozzarella and pepperoni.
- Toss to combine.
- Make dressing: In a small bowl combine lemon zest and juice, olive oil, dijon mustard, pepperoncini juice, salt and pepper. Whisk until dressing is emulsified. Add pasta to vegetables. Toss to combine.
- Add dressing to salad. Toss to combine.
- Refrigerate salad for several hours for flavors to marry and broccoli to absorb some dressing and soften slightly.
- Just before serving the pasta salad, toss with fresh basil.
More Side Salads For BBQ’s, Cookouts and Picnics:
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