a hint of honey

ahintofhoney.com · Jun 10, 2014

Smoked Gouda Pasta Salad

This was my attempt at recreating Whole Food’s smoked mozzarella pasta salad which is spicy and delicious, but thick and heavy and obviously not the healthiest. Whether or not you have tried and love theirs, I think you’ll like this. It’s lighter (even using whole wheat pasta) but just as addictive. Two ingredients make all the difference: smoked cheese (I used Gouda but smoked mozzarella also works) and chipotle in adobo. The chipotle peppers add even more smokiness and some unexpected zip. (I love chipotle in adobo. I use it all the time. Buy a jar and freeze what you don’t use. It lasts for months and months that way.) There’s also a touch of honey for sweetness, fresh parsley or basil, roasted red peppers (or artichokes or tomatoes or all of the above- why not?), freshly grated Parmesan, garlic… I could go on.

You could probably get away with swapping half of the mayo for Greek Yogurt. If you do, let me know the result. The olive oil is optional, but it helps to smooth the salad out. I let mine sit in the fridge for a few hours and then just before the BBQ I pulled it out and tossed it with a tablespoon or two of oil. Serve with something hot off the grill and your summer meal is complete.

Smoked Gouda Pasta Salad

INGREDIENTS

12 oz. penne or gemelli pasta (I used whole wheat)
2 cups baby spinach, chopped
12 oz. jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped (or artichoke hearts and/or fresh cherry tomatoes, halved)
6-8 oz. smoked Gouda or smoked mozzarella, cubed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 cup fresh parsley (or basil), chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. honey
1 Tbsp. chipotle in adobo, minced (about 1 pepper)
~1 tsp. kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1-2 Tbsp. olive oil

DIRECTIONS

1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water according to package directions. Place the spinach in a large bowl. Drain the pasta and pour the hot pasta over top of the spinach. Toss with the spinach and allow the steam from the pasta to wilt the spinach. Set aside to cool.

2. To make the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, garlic, honey, chipotle in adobo, 1 tsp. kosher salt, and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper.

3. Once the pasta has cooled, stir in the roasted red peppers, cheese, and herbs. Pour the dressing over top and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. Add 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil to loosen pasta, if necessary. (I added about 1 Tbsp. after it had been refrigerated several hours.)

Serves 6-8.

(Adapted from here and here.)

The post Smoked Gouda Pasta Salad appeared first on A Hint of Honey.

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