Antipasto Pasta Salad
- 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound rotini pasta
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Emeril's Italian Essence, or other dried Italian herb mixture
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups 1/4-inch cubes provolone
- 1 cup thinly sliced oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
- 1 cup thinly sliced salami (1/4 pound)
- 1 cup thinly sliced prosciutto (1/4 pound)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil leaves
Combine 2 tablespoons salt, the olive oil, and 4 quarts water in a large pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Add the rotini and cook, stirring occasionally to keep the pasta from sticking together, until just al dente, about 9 minutes.
Meanwhile, mash together the garlic and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Add the balsamic vinegar, Italian Essence, black pepper, and crushed red pepper. Whisk to blend. Gradually whisk in the olive oil.
Drain the rotini and rinse under cold running water until cool. Add to the vinaigrette, along with the provolone, tomatoes, salami, prosciutto, parsley, and basil. Toss to mix. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Let the salad return to room temperature before serving.