We make what we call an antipasto pasta salad that includes both the pasta and everything you can find in an antipasto. And we add a vinagrette with spices.
Now you don't have to do it all. In fact you probably don't want to.
But to make it a bit sexier than the stuff you have been eating you can, for example, vary the pasta. I love the spiral type things, but penne and almost any pasta works well. And varying the pasta will give the dish a slightly different dimension.
Add whatever meats you can or wish to, salami (soft and hard), prosciutto, and capicolla are great. But just regular ham, or diced kielbasa, or one of those summer sausages people send to each other like from Hickory Farms will be great. Or heck, try sliced hot dogs. Or omit meat.
Again, the same with cheeses. It is your pasta salad and if you like jack cheese in it, great. And it will be tasty.
Anchovies, if you like them, toss one or two in, they can be cut up.
I prefer a vinagrette and you can vary the vinegar. But just olive oil works fine. And add whatever spices you like. Prefer oregano, thyme and basil but others work. Maybe one day basil and another oregano. Or mix. And the dried will work.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot about the olives and artichoke hearts. And if the god of garlic will forgive me I will put it last. In my job garlic is something I have to use very gingerly.
And taking it one step further, you can forego the pasta and put the salad on a crusty bread with a bit of the fluffy bread taken out to make room for the tasty bits, ala a muffaletta (I always have trouble spelling that) sandwich.
I guess my point is that the Italian antipasto plate is a palette of flavors and you can pick and choose as you wish for your lunches. In that way every day will be not only a challange, but interesting and tasty.
Just my take on things. God bless.
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