The best thing about this antipasto salad is, of course, the fact that it tastes amazing and works so well with so many meals, from BBQ to a traditional Italian dinner spread to a buffet lunch. The second best thing is the fact that it will taste amazing "even when stored in refrigerator for up to three days," says chef and food writer Sher Castellano. In fact, this fabulous take on pasta salad may even taste better a day or two after you make it, as the flavors will have even more time to blend.

And once you have tried this classic take on an antipasto salad, the world is your oyster for your own spin-offs. You can try adding everything from spicy jalapenos to chopped grilled chicken to spinach to anything else you can think of. For now, though, let’s keep it classic with this sublime dish you really can serve with all sorts of other foods — or that you can make as the meal itself.

Gather your ingredients to make your antipasto salad

As noted, there is wide latitude as to what you can add to this antipasto salad, so take this ingredient list with the proverbial grain of salt (but don’t skip the salt). A substitution here or an addition there? Welcome indeed. But for a fine take on antipasto salad with servings for six, you’ll need a half pound of dry rotini (or penne or another short, thick pasta), three ounces of sharp provolone or asiago cheese, diced small, one cup of banana pepper rings, diced, a half cup of red onion, thinly sliced, one cup each of black olives, canned artichokes (drained and quartered), and cherry tomatoes.

You’ll also need a half cup of fresh parsley, a half cup of extra virgin olive oil, a quarter cup of red wine vinegar, a teaspoon of dijon mustard, a half teaspoon each of dried oregano, fine sea salt, and black pepper, and a quarter teaspoon of garlic powder.

Cook the pasta and make your dressing for this antipasto salad

To start your antipasto salad, bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil and then cook the pasta according to package’s al dente directions. Drain and rinse under cold water until the pasta becomes room temperature, which will take about a minute. You can toss it with a bit of oil to make sure it won’t stick, then set it aside.

Now, in a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, mustard, oregano, garlic, sugar, salt, and pepper, and stir until the mixture is smooth. Then, set the dressing aside.

Bring it all together to make this antipasto salad

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked pasta, asiago cheese, banana pepper rings, red onion, black olives, artichokes, tomatoes, and parsley, and stir everything for your antipasto salad together.

Now, pour the dressing over the salad and continue mixing until everything is well combined. And guess what? That’s that. Serve the pasta salad at room temperature or slightly chilled, and don’t forget that it will keep for three days if covered and refrigerated, so go ahead and make your addition to tomorrow’s feast today.