As I was attending a farewell barbecue for some lovely family friends of ours that were moving away, I happened upon this totally amazing pasta salad someone had brought to share. It wasn’t the most colorful salad, but I noticed it was going fast and seemed to be a hit. Sure enough, once I tasted it, I had to have the recipe; it was fabulous! Great flavor combinations were happening in my mouth. I tracked down the creator of said salad, got the recipe, and now I get to share Olive-Artichoke Pasta Salad smothered in Olive Garden Italian Dressing with you!
Olive-Artichoke Pasta Salad plus Olive Garden Light Italian Dressing
Alright, I feel silly admitting this, but I didn’t know until I came across this recipe that you can purchase Olive Garden dressing in the Grocery store! I had seen a few copy-cat recipes on pinterest for the famous salad dressing used in their restaurant salads, and I assumed that the dressing wasn’t being marketed to the public. Now I know! And I’m so excited that I still have half a bottle in my fridge I can use for another salad!
There is a little fun trick to creating this pasta salad that makes it different than most~ blanching the broccoli with the pasta as it cooks. You’ll add the florets to the boiling water a couple minutes before the pasta is done. Boil the broccoli and pasta for two more minutes (or until the pasta is fully cooked) then drain. Now your broccoli has just the right amount of tender-crispness that is perfect for pasta salad!
And another thing I like about this recipe is the marinated artichoke hearts and the mozzarella cheese. Ohhh so good together. And the ham and the olives…they’re all really great flavors that work together to make a fabulous pasta salad quick and easy to whip up for a crowd! Enjoy!