Shew, the “Terrible Two’s” are in full swing in my house. My toddler is like a caged bull, ready to buck. Nothing makes her happy. She tourtures her baby brother by stealing all his toys, and she hates all types of foods. She picks through her dinner plate like a baby bird, barely eating anything. I was so glad to see her actually eating this Italian pasta salad. I know when I can’t get her to eat anything else, she’ll eat pasta noodles. (She might get that from her mama!)
I absolutely love pasta, so this salad is right on point for me. The Kalamata olives and Pepperoncini’s are exactly the kind of thing I live for. Add in the Parmesan cheese, top it with Italian dressing and I will eat multiply bowls of this stuff.
If you’ve never tried Kalamata olives, you need to. They’re so good!! I would describe them as a cross between green and black olives. They have a very meaty texture that adds so much flavor to this salad.
The great thing about this recipe is the fact that you get that same pasta salad feel, without all those carbs. It’s the best of both worlds. A healthier alternative to a traditional pasta salad. So you won’t have to feel guilty for eating a bigger serving.
You can top this salad with any type of salad dressing you like. If I don’t make my own I use Olive Garden’s Lite Italian Dressing.
I don’t normally eat store bought dressing, but this one is hard to pass up. It pairs great with this recipe, so give it a try.
- 2 cups dried rotelle pasta
- 3 bunches romaine hearts lettuce
- ½ English cucumber, sliced and peeled
- ½ sweet onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup Kalamata pitted olives
- 6 whole mild pepperoncini peppers
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- Cook pasta according to the box. Drain well and set aside to cool
- In a large bowl add chopped lettuce, onion, tomatoes, cucumber, olives, and peppers. Toss until evenly mixed
- Add pasta and oregano. Top with parmesan cheese
- Pair with an Italian style dressing for serving