What’s for Dinner?
Smoked Mozzarella Pasta Salad
Perfect meal for hot weather
-Julie Ryan Evans
I bought this pasta salad at the Whole Foods deli once and was so in love with it that I set out to find the recipe. And there it was in one of my all-time favorite cookbooks The Whole Foods Cookbook. It’s a great complete light meal on a hot summer night or the perfect side dish with some grilled chicken. It’s also a hit at potlucks and picnics.
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced (1 and 1/2 tsp.)
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 pound penne pasta
2 cups packed baby spinach, washed and stemmed
2 small jarred roasted red pepper, diced
1/2 pound smoked mozzarella cheese, diced
Combine the Parmesan cheese, parsley, mayonnaise, vinegar, garlic, cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper with a hand mixer or in the bowl of food processor or in a blender until the dressing is smooth.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until it is al dente. Drain the pasta into a colander, run cold water over it or submerge it in ice water until chilled through, and drain well. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked pasta, spinach, roasted red peppers, and smoked mozzarella. Add dressing and combine (I’ve found that you don’t need all of the dressing, just add a little at a time until it’s to your liking).