Italian Chicken Pasta Salad
- 3 cups dried elbow macaroni
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup cubed rotisserie chicken
- 1 cup diced English cucumber (about 1/3 cucumber)
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cup chopped pitted Nicoise olives
- 1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers (about 1 whole)
- 1/2 cup 1/4-inch diced hard salami (about 4 ounces)
- 1/4 cup diced red onion (about 1/2 small)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 4 ounces ricotta salata, grated, or crumbled feta cheese
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook until al dente, according to the package directions. Drain in a colander, rinse with cold water and shake until very dry. Transfer the pasta to a large mixing bowl, drizzle 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over it and toss well to coat.
2. Add the chicken, cucumber, tomatoes, olives, peppers, salami, onions and parsley. Season with salt and toss well to combine.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar and remaining 1/2 cup olive oil; pour it over the salad and toss well. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. For best flavor, let the salad stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving.