Last month, I signed up to bring pasta salad to a potluck. In typical me fashion, I decided that I had to make it myself. After cruising the internet for a bit, I came across a recipe with smoked gouda, which was all I needed to be sold. Roasted red peppers and artichoke hearts? Total bonus.
I choose to use gemelli for my pasta because it is my favorite and it is really structurally sound - it holds up to anything. While that was boiling, I diced up my roasted peppers and artichoke hearts (I was lucky to find grilled ones at the store). I had a couple of tomatoes hanging around, so I chopped those up and threw them in too. After I rinsed the pasta in cold water (normally a big no-no, but good for pasta salads), I tossed it with the veggies and the cubed gouda.
Then came the dressing, where I inexplicably decided to take the opposite route and go quick and easy. I used mayonnaise and bottled Italian dressing and it came out just right - light and flavorful. You are of course welcome to make your own dressing from scratch. Top with fresh herbs and go! This is hearty and fresh and super yummy - it was very popular at the potluck, thank goodness!
Pasta Salad with Smoked Gouda, Roasted Red Peppers, Fresh Tomatoes, and Grilled Artichoke Hearts
adapted from the Kitchn
1 pound short pasta
1 (12 oz) jar fire-roasted red peppers
1 (6 oz) jar artichoke hearts (grilled if you can find them)
2 medium tomatoes
12 oz smoked gouda, cubed
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Italian dressing
Fresh herbs (basil, parsley, oregano), roughly chopped
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to directions for al dente (if al dente is not specified, cook for 1-2 minutes less than the recommended time). Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking and get rid of extra starch.
Meanwhile, drain (do not rinse) and chop the peppers and artichoke hearts. Chop the tomatoes, discarding the seeds. Toss the cooled pasta with the vegetables - the residual oil from the jars should coat the pasta lightly.
Toss the pasta mixture with the gouda. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and Italian dressing. Pour the dressing over the top of the pasta mixture 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.
Top with fresh herbs just before serving. Do not leave out for more than 2 hours for safety.