After we got married, my husband and I lived in Galveston, TX for a few years. It was a bizarre time for us – we had neither one ever lived far from our families, we were just getting used to being married, we were totally poor, I was a rookie teacher, my husband was in medical school, and we lived in this strange, small beach community that seemed to be set back in time approximately 30 years. Though some of our Island experiences were less than ideal (excessive commutes across the ocean, hurricanes), we have always looked back on our Galveston days with complete fondness.
One of the major perks we experienced was living within walking distance of tons of small businesses and restaurants. Being that we were local, we were able to make friends with lots of the local business owners in our community. One of our favorite neighbors was Maceo. Maceo Spice was about two blocks from our building in the Strand. He makes his own spice blends, which are fantastic, he taught us about fancy olive oils, and mostly he made the best muffaletta’s I’ve ever had. We picked up muffalettas at least once a week for the entirety of our time on the Island. This pasta salad totally reminds me of Maceo and the weird years we spent in Galveston. If you’re ever in the area, it’s definitely worth a stop.
Muffaletta Pasta Salad
1lb. pasta shells
1/2 of a red onion
1 clove garlic
1 can black olives
1 cup green olives
4 stalks celery
2 cooked chicken breasts (I just use whatever I have leftover)
6oz. mozzarella cheese
1/4 to 1/2lb. dry salami – if you’re getting it from the deli counter ask them to slice it as thick as possible.
1T dried oregano
Parmesan cheese for topping
1/2 cup olive oil (Maceo would suggest Paseano unfiltered)
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp sriracha
1/2 tsp black pepper
1. Boil the pasta according to package directions. When cooked al dente, drain and rinse the pasta with cold water.
2. Meanwhile, finely chop the olives, onion, garlic, and celery. Cut the cheese and meats into small cubes. Toss all of the chopped ingredients in a large bowl with the cooked and cooled pasta.
3. Mix the dressing ingredients together in a jar or blender until combined. Pour over the salad and toss. Serve chilled with a sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan cheese. Imagine you’re at the beach.
Serves approximately 6. Adapted from Joy the Baker.