My grandmother grew up during the Depression and then raised four children with my grandfather.
There were years when they had very little and she had to make food stretch a little further than it really should have gone.
Most of the things she cooked — even after I was born and their finances had improved — were reminiscent of this period of their lives.
There were lots of pasta dishes and cooking with things grown in my grandfather’s garden.
Every once in a while, though, my grandmother would make something outside of that vein.
One of the dishes she made — either when she found the ingredients on sale or when she just was in the mood — was antipasta.
This cold pasta dish is great for those hot summer days when you don’t want to spend a long time standing over a stove.
- 1 box tri-colored spiral pasta
- 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
- 4 ounces Colby-Jack cheese
- 2 thick-cut slices Genoa salami
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup diced onion
- 3/4 cup miniature pepperonis
- Italian dressing
Cook the pasta to preferred firmness. Remove it from heat, drain it and put it in an ice bath to cut down the temperature.
While the pasta is cooling, prepare the cheese, salami and onion by chopping them into 1/4 inch or smaller cubes. Combine these ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Add to this bowl the mini pepperonis, cooled antipasta and your favorite Italian dressing to taste.
This pasta tastes great with added ingredients. When I serve it, I offer halved grape tomatoes, diced black olives and halved, canned mushrooms on the side.
Do not add these add-ons to the large bowl, though, as they do not keep as long as the other ingredients do.
Instead, simply garnish your own dish with the additions you want.