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Pasta Salad with homemade champagne Vinaigrette

Pasta salad is a must have during the summer. It's so bright and tangy and much lighter than a traditional pasta dish. I've seen a lot of recipes with chicken and salami, but I wanted to make mine with homemade spicy Italian sausage. It adds a slightly different texture and is a little more filling. The homemade Champagne vinaigrette is full of spices and helps cut through the richness of the sausage and cheese. My favorite part about pasta salads is how fast they are to make and that they taste even better the next day. Once the vinegar fully marinates, everything in the bowl becomes one cohesive flavor. I'm not a big leftovers person, but I definitely enjoy this one for a week after - or as long as it lasts. Seriously, who doesn't like a good pasta salad?

The Italian sausage is ground pork seasoned with 1 tbsp red pepper flakes, 1 tbsp Italian seasoning, 2 tsp minced garlic, 2 tsp minced shallots, 1 tsp kosher salt, and 1 tsp ground black pepper.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

The Goods:

1 16 oz bag of macaroni pasta

1 small red onion, diced

1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved

1 cup of Castelvetrano olives, pitted and halved

1 pound of spicy Italian sausage

1 cup of parsley, minced

1/2 cup of freshly grated parmesan

Champagne Vinaigrette :

1/2 cup champagne vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 tsp kosher salt

Pinch of fresh ground black pepper

1 tsp Italian seasoning

2 tsp minced garlic

2 tsp minced shallots

1 tsp red pepper flakes

The Method:

  1. Cook the pasta to the specifications on the box. Once cooked, strain and spread out on a sheet pan to cool. Toss with olive oil to keep from sticking together.

  2. While the pasta is cooling, brown the Italian sausage. Once fully cooked, strain out the grease and set aside to let cool.

  3. Make the dressing by quickly whisking all of the ingredients in a bowl or mason jar. It's not an emulsified dressing, so it will separate fast. If this occurs before you dress your pasta, just whisk again.

  4. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the pasta, sausage, tomatoes, parsley, onion, olives, and parmesan. Dress with as much Italian dressing as desired. Let marinate until ready to serve.

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Hey, how's it going

I'm Jorden Hand - the "hand" behind the hand that feeds you. The food you'll find here is inspired by the experiences I've gained through travel and working in some of the best restaurants Seattle has to offer. I Hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I enjoyed making them for you. 

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