The ingredients used to make pasta salad with Italian dressing are rotelle or spiral pasta, assorted cut-up vegetables, cheddar or mozzarella cheese, pitted ripe olives, and Italian dressing. A large bowl and a spoon are also necessary.
To make classic Italian pasta salad, cook and drain 8 ounces of rotelle or spiral pasta. Combine the pasta in a large bowl with 2-1/2 cups of assorted vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, bell peppers, cauliflower, onions and mushrooms; 1/2 cup of cheddar or mozzarella cheese; and 1/3 cup of pitted, ripe olives. Add 1 cup of Italian dressing, and toss the mixture well. This dish can be served chilled or at room temperature. This recipe serves 8 people as a side dish.
If preparing this dish a day in advance, refrigerate it, and add an additional 1/4 cup of Italian dressing prior to serving. For those who want to add some meat, pepperoni and salami are common additions to Italian pasta salad.
Pasta salads started to make an appearance in American cookbooks in the early-20th century. They were served in U.S. diners and delis as side dishes. Most often served chilled, it was and continues to be a popular summertime food.