Almost everyone has one, their favorite hole-in-the-wall pizza joint that conjures up sweet memories of cheese, sauce, and banter. For me, that pizza heaven is Alfredo’s Pizza Cafe in Birmingham. I have many fond memories of catching a matinee with my friend Elaine right after stopping by Alfredo’s for a pepperoni calzone and a side of pasta salad.
Alfredo’s has since moved (and so have I), but Elaine and I remain the best of friends while the taste of Alfredo’s pasta salad lingers happily in my mind. I recently met up with Elaine over the 4th of July weekend and, feeling nostalgic, decided to try my hand at reproducing Alfredo’s classic pasta salad.
Alfredo’s Pasta Salad
- 2 cups rotini pasta, cooked
- 1/2 cup sliced olives
- 1/2 each of a red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, and orange bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 cup mild banana peppers
- 1/4 cup sauteed onions, chopped
- 1/2 cup broccoli
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 tsp grated Parmesan cheese
- 1-1 1/2 cup(s) pesto sauce
- 1/4 cup banana pepper juice, optional
- Boil pasta over high heat for 11 minutes or until tender. Drain and pour into a medium-sized mixing bowl.
- Boil broccoli over high heat for 5-7 minutes or until tender. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper to taste.
- Sautee bell peppers over medium-high heat in 1/2-1 tsp of olive oil (or without olive oil if using a nonstick skillet).
- Sautee onions over medium-high heat in 1/2 tsp of olive oil and 1/8 tsp of sugar.
- Combine pasta with all other ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
All that’s left is to make a calzone! But for now, what’s your favorite hole-in-the-wall pizza place?