Last night, I went to a potluck/bonfire at a co-worker’s house, and after trying this pasta salad out on some friends a couple weeks ago, I decided to make it again based on some pretty good reviews. It’s an easy recipe to throw together, and it can be made the night before, which is usually a bonus when planning for bigger dinner parties and the like. I also think this recipe is a “safe” recipe for people who don’t like spicy foods because I don’t like a hot flavour but thoroughly enjoyed this “spicy” salad.
The recipe calls for smoked gouda, but I went for the Applewood Smoked Cheddar from my local cheese shop, the Delaney Bay Cheese Market. The Applewood cheese tastes amazing in this salad!
Much ado about cheese.
Finished product! I’m craving the leftovers that are now in the hostess’s fridge…
Spicy Pasta Salad with Smoked Gouda, Tomatoes, and Basil (from Food Network magazine, July/August 2013
12 oz. mostaccioli or penne pasta
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 white vinegar
freshly ground pepper
1 and 1/2 tsp adobo sauce from a can of chipotles (or 1 mince chipotle)
1 10-oz package of grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1/2 pound smoked gouda cheese, cut into small cubes
24 basil leaves, thinly sliced
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs. Drain and rinse under cold water until no longer hot; set aside.
2. Make the dressing: Mix the mayonnaise, milk, vinegar, 1/2 tsp salt, pepper to taste, and the adobo sauce in a small bowl.
3. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, dressing, tomatoes, and gouda. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if needed, and even an extra teaspoon or 2 of vinegar, if necessary. Stir in the basil at the end. Refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.
1. I did not weigh out 12 oz. of pasta; instead, I just used the full box of penne (454 g).
2. Whole milk is homogenized milk and, unfortunately, does not come in a 500 mL or 250 mL carton!
3. I used adobo sauce (not a minced chipotle), and I found the canned chipotles in adobo sauce in the international foods section of the grocery store.
4. I did not use 24 basil leaves, as this seemed like a lot to me. Instead, I used the pack of basil in the ingredients picture above, which was probably about 8 to 10 leaves…? You should be able to find a similar-sized package around the produce section of your grocery store.
5. I did not need to add more salt and pepper to the final mix, but I did add more vinegar (about 1 and 1/2 tsp more).
6. As I mentioned earlier, you do not need to make this the “day of.” Mixing everything up the night before and covering the bowl tightly with Saran wrap works out perfectly!