What is summer without pasta salad? A few weeks ago, I had a craving for pasta salad. I can't say that I'd ever really craved pasta salad before.
My mom's macaroni salad is good - she uses her potato salad recipe and substitutes macaroni for the potatoes - but I've always preferred potato salad to pasta salad when given the choice.
But nothing would do but pasta salad, so I turned to Pinterest and started bookmarking promising recipes.
Tribune Chronicle photos / Mary Beth Wyko
The dressing is quite good, and the peppers and artichokes are tasty, but the real star of this pasta salad is the smoked gouda cheese. With a smoky creaminess in every bite, you will agree that the price is worth every penny when you try this must-have summer recipe from www.thekitchn.com.
In the interest of full disclosure, I decided to make the recipe I did because it had cheese. As my friends and family would tell you, I've never met a cheese I didn't like, and in my opinion, cheese makes any recipe better.
And really, the cheese is what makes this pasta salad. The dressing is quite good, and the peppers and artichokes are tasty, but the real star of the show is the smoked gouda. I winced a bit at the cost when I picked up the cheese at the Giant Eagle in Howland, but believe me when I say it was worth every penny. There was smoky creaminess in every bite.
The recipe makes a lot - since I didn't have a picnic to attend or a holiday function to prepare for, I ended up eating pasta salad for dinner for a week - so it's perfect for those late summer get-togethers and would be a welcome side dish at your Labor Day picnic.
It also comes together quickly and easily. You can mix up the dressing while the pasta is cooking so it's ready to go once your pasta is cooked and cooled.
Pasta salad is fortunately an easy thing to convert for those of us with gluten intolerance - I used gluten-free macaroni. If you're using mayonnaise, double check to make sure that you have a gluten-free variety. I used Greed yogurt, so that wasn't an issue for me.
You'll also want to find a use for the chipotles after you've taken a tablespoon of sauce from the can - maybe make some southwestern dip to bring along with your pasta salad.
For the dressing:
1/2 cup mayonnaise or plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, pressed
2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 heaping tablespoon adobo sauce from canned chipotles
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
For the pasta salad:
1 pound (16 ounces) gigli or penne pasta, cooked al dente and cooled
1 (12-ounce) jar fire-roasted red peppers, rinsed and chopped (1 heaping cup)
1 (6-ounce) jar artichoke hearts, rinsed and chopped (heaping 1/2 cup)
3/4 pound (12 ounces) smoked gouda, cubed
Fresh herbs, such as basil or Italian parsley, roughly chopped
For the dressing, combine mayonnaise, olive oil, garlic, vinegar, adobo sauce, honey, and salt in a small bowl, and whisk thoroughly. Season generously with black pepper.
For the pasta salad, toss the cooked noodles, peppers, artichokes, and gouda together in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the top and mix to combine. Allow to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving, or cover and refrigerate overnight (allow 30 minutes to warm to room temperature before serving). Taste and adjust any seasonings, if necessary.
Source: The Kitchn www.thekitchn.com