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It is that time of year again, time for the Big Game! Are you ready? We are getting ready here. For the first time ever football has been really big in our house. Up until a couple weeks ago my husband had been rooting for his grandpa’s favorite team. We’ve been married nearly seventeen years and my husband has never shown so much interest in football outside of the Big Game (and then we watched for the commercials and snacks). I had to ask him, “Who are you?” and “What did you do with my husband?” Seriously, I had no clue what is going on. Heck today my sixth grader came home asking me who I was rooting for in the Big Game. Ok, so we live in North Carolina, that may have something to do with it but all of this is rather surprising. Even when my oldest was playing football we didn’t have this much excitement. All I know is right now I have some family members that are excited for the Big Game and that means I need to make them some Big Game Day food. After all you can’t watch the Big Game without something to munch on.This year i’m thinking quick and easy is the way to go. My families favorite Red Baron Pizza, my  super Easy Antipasto Pasta Salad and for dessert a Key Lime Pie from Edwards Pies.

Easy Antipasto Pasta Salad | Country Girl Gourmet

First up was a shopping trip to one of my and favorite stores Target. While I miss Super Target in El Paso my Target has a pretty decent grocery section that I love. I load up my CartWheel app with savings and get to shopping! Right now  Cartwheel  has a discount on Red Baron Pizza. Double bonus was they had my families favorite, the rising crust pizzas in stock.

Red Baron Pizza at Target!

I grabbed the Red Baron Pizza,a frozen Edward’s Key Lime pie, and my antipasto pasta salad ingredients and headed home to try out my Big Game meal plan on my family.

Easy Antipasto Salad | Country Girl Gourmet

Pasta salads are a favorite of mine. They are typically quick and easy to make. Plus you can make them up ahead and they are even better after sitting for a few hours. They are always a favorite among friends and family. So I decided I would combine some of the best parts of an antipasto platter, my favorite caprese salad with pasta salad.

I gathered up everything and I got to work!

Easy Antipasto Salad | Country Girl Gourmet

My first step was to get the pasta going. I put my water on to boil and made my pasta per box directions. While waiting on the pasta I began on the rest of the salad. I started by “doctoring” up bottled balsamic vinaigrette with garlic an basil. I then added fresh Mozzarella pearls  so they could begin marinating in the dressing.

Easy Antipasto Salad | Country Girl Gourmet

Next up was draining, slicing and dicing as I got all my yummy antipasto ingredients prepped for the salad.I started with the veggies. With the grape (or cherry tomatoes) you may be tempted to just throw them in whole but you don’t have to cut them one by one with my easy tip-

In no time you will have your veggies ready and things starting to look delicious!
Easy Antipasto Salad | Country Girl Gourmet

I followed up the veggies with the pepperoni and salami. I cut into thick slices that I quartered.

Easy Antipasto Salad | Country Girl Gourmet

All that was left to do was throw in the cooked pasta and…

Easy Antipasto Salad | Country Girl Gourmet

Toss, coating everything well and then in the fridge it went so all of the flavors could meld together.

Easy Antipasto Salad | Country Girl Gourmet

My Easy Antipasto Pasta Salad not only looked delicious it was delicious! My entire family loved it! There was something in it for everyone to love. I am sure that with their favorite Red Baron Pizza their bellies will be full!

Easy Antipasto Salad | Country Girl Gourmet

A big win for me with this Big Game food is that I can make up the pasta salad early and then I can do what I want during the day, like go for a long run. Then when my family is watching the Big game and ready for food I can pop my families favorite Red Baron Pizza’s in the oven and pull out the pasta salad and give it a toss and have them fed quicker than ordering pizza. I call that a win-win!

Easy Antipasto Salad | Country Girl Gourmet
What are you making for the Big Game? 

Easy Antipasto Salad
  • 12 ounces Penne Pasta (or other ribbed pasta)
  • 8 ounces Mozzarella Pearls
  • 10 (a loose ¼ cup) Basil leaves, chiffonade or torn
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 14 ounce can artichoke hearts,drained
  • 1 6 ounce can Large Pitted Black Olives, drained
  • 10 (about ½ cup) Pepperoncini peppers, sliced
  • ½ cup Roasted Red Pepper, diced
  • ½ Red Onion, diced
  • 1 cup Grape (or Cherry) Tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 7 ounces (about 1 cup) salami, quartered
  • 7 ounces (about 1 cup) pepperoni, quartered
  • ¼-1/2 cup, Parmesan cheese
  1. Cook pasta per box directions. When pasta is done since with cold water and set aside.
  2. Whisk together bottled balsamic vinaigrette with garlic an basil. Add fresh Mozzarella pearls so they can begin marinating in the dressing.
  3. Next add in chopped vegetables and meats. Add pasta and toss coating well.
  4. Refrigerate for 4 hours or longer allowing the flavors to meld together.
  5. Before serving toss pasta salad and top with parmesan cheese.

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