A bowl of antipasti pasta salad.

Recipe: Fermented Antipasti Pasta Salad

This recipe takes a classic comfort food and fills it to the brim with vegetables, probiotics and anti-inflammatory herbs and spices. The naturally zesty flavors of fermented vegetables are the perfect match for this pasta salad.

This Italian antipasti vegetable jar features cauliflower, carrots and jalapeños, which are fermented in a flavorful brine for one week. All the components of the ferment down to the brine are utilized.  

Store this fermented jar of vegetables in the refrigerator for months. This will allow you to throw together your next pasta salad in a pinch.

Good to Know with Chef O:

  1. The fermented liquid, known as the brine, is a perfect addition for your pasta salad dressing. Simply whisk in some minced garlic, olive oil and sea salt.
  2. The vegetable pieces should be larger when fermenting so they can retain a crunch, but it is recommended that they be cut smaller before adding them to the pasta salad in order to achieve the perfect bite.
  3. Bay leaves, garlic, dried oregano, black peppercorns, sugar and distilled vinegar make for a flavorful brine for fermenting this batch of cauliflower, carrots and jalapeños.
  4. Feel free to substitute the penne for your favorite pasta variety such as rotini, shells or even rigatoni.
  5. Using fermented vegetables in your pasta salad saves time, because they are already cut, and do not need to be cooked.


Fermented Antipasti Pasta Salad
Yield: 10 cups


For the Italian Antipasti Vegetable Jar: 
Yield: 1 gallon

  • 1 cauliflower head, cut into florets
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into rounds
  • 2 jalapeños, sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1/2 cup distilled vinegar

For the Fermented Antipasti Pasta Salad and Assembly:

  • 3/4 cup antipasti fermenting brine
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
  • 1 16-ounce package penne
  • 1 bunch parsley, destemmed and chopped
  • 3/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, cut in half crosswise
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 2 cups fermented antipasti vegetables, cut into smaller pieces


For the Italian Antipasti Vegetable Jar:

  1. Add cut cauliflower, carrots, sliced jalapeños, bay leaves, garlic, dried oregano, black peppercorns, sugar and salt to a bowl.
  2. Massage and transfer to a sterilized 1-gallon glass jar.
  3. Pour in vinegar and fill the remainder of the jar with water, until you reach the bottom rim of the jar.
  4. Fasten airlock lid and ferment at room temperature for 1 week.
  5. Transfer to refrigerator for extended storage.

For the Fermented Antipasti Pasta Salad and Assembly:

  1. Whisk together brine, olive oil, minced garlic and sea salt in a large bowl.
  2. Cook pasta in boiling water for 10 to 12 minutes, or according to package instructions.  The consistency should be al dente.
  3. Drain cooked pasta thoroughly and toss with vinaigrette while still warm.
  4. Fold in chopped parsley, olives, cherry tomatoes and fermented antipasti vegetables.

More fermented recipes from Chef Olivia:

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