WCAX Summer Picnic Series: Elissa’s grandma’s famous pasta salad

Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 8:12 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Next up in the WCAX Summer Picnic Series we have a pasta salad made by Elissa Borden.

Though Elissa is the one explaining how to make the pasta salad, the original recipe comes from her grandma, Angela Russo. Elissa also adapted the recipe to be gluten free in the video, it can be made with regular pasta as well.



You will need:

  • Big pot for pasta
  • Strainer
  • Cutting board
  • Sharp knife
  • Two mixing bowls


  • 2 boxes of pasta
  • 1 pepperoni stick
  • 1 block of cheese (Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar recommended)
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • Italian dressing of your choice
  • Salt to taste
  • Black olives, if desired


1. Collect all of your ingredients

2. Fill the large pot with water (enough for 2 boxes of pasta) and put on high heat. Add salt for flavor.

3. While the water heats up, begin cutting your peppers, cheese, and pepperoni into chunks. They should be similarly sized, small enough to mix nicely but not so small that they’re tough to get on a fork. If you’re adding olives, chop them into smaller pieces and add them to the mix.

4. Once they’re all chopped, put those ingredients aside in a separate bowl.

5. Once the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook to your liking.

6. Once the pasta is cooked, pull it off the heat, strain it and rinse it with water to help keep it from sticking together.

7. Put the rinsed pasta aside in another bowl. Put it in the fridge until it’s cold and separates easily, about 1 hour.

8. Once the pasta is cool, mix the pasta and chopped pepperoni, cheese, and peppers together.

9. Add Italian dressing to your liking and serve cold!

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