Smoked Cheese Pasta Salad



My local co-op deli started to offer the most delicious smoked mozzarella pasta salad. It’s a perfect dish for the summer that is also great for picnics. I tried the recipe at home and here are my notes and my version of it:

Pasta – any kind (wheat, rice, gluten free, etc.) and any shape would work for this salad.  


Cheese  - any firm or semi firm smoked cheese would be fine here. So far I made this salad several times alternating between smoked Gouda, smoked mozzarella and smoked goat cheese and I found all of them to be equally good.  The original recipe used Parmesan cheese. I found the flavor to be lost against the dominant flavor of the smoked cheese, so I omitted this ingredient from this recipe.


Mamma Lil’s peppers - are pickled Hungarian red peppers sold in jars or in bulk in some stores. They are spicy and vinegary. If you don’t like spicy food or you are allergic to red peppers, substitute it with sundried tomatoes. I love using Mamma Lil’s peppers in salads in sandwiches. 


Herbs - herbs add color and freshness to this salad. In my salad I used a bigger quantity of herbs than the original recipe called for.  Fell free to choose one or several kinds of herbs that you like. In my salad I used a combination of dill, parsley, and chives.



 Ingredients:

16oz/0.5Kg dry pasta (any shape)
1/3 cup white vinegar
1 cup mayonnaise
8oz/220gr smoked cheese (gouda, mozzarella, goat etc.) - shredded
½ to 1 cup Mamma Lil’s peppers/sundried tomatoes - chopped
½ cup chopped herbs (dill, parsley, cilantro, chives etc.)
1 tsp minced garlic or ½ tsp garlic powder.
Salt and pepper to taste.

Preparation:

Bring to boil water and salt, cook pasta for about 10 minutes – until al dante.
In a big bowl mix pasta with vinegar and then toss with mayonnaise, minced garlic, salt and pepper.
Add shredded cheese, chopped Mama Lil’s pepper (with the oil)/sundried tomatos, and chopped herbs. 


Keep refrigerated.

Serves between 8-10 people.



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