The weather is finally getting nice after a long winter and I am CRAVING my favorite pasta salad. This is such a great cold summer meal or side. In general I am not a fan of pasta salad or potato salad but this recipe is SO good! I started making a couple Ree Drummond pasta salad recipes a few years ago in an attempt to find something to bring to cookouts and just have another summer side. I absolutely love both recipes and will link them here and here. This recipe pretty much combines the two of them and the result is something that everyone seems to love. I’m constantly being asked for this recipe so I figured I would share it here.
1 pint cherry tomatoes
5-6 basil leaves
8 oz block of smoked gouda cheese (I sometimes add more because it’s so good)
3 chopped green onions
1 pound bacon
1 package cavatappi pasta (or whatever you have or like)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup mayo
4 tbsp white vinegar
The recipe is super simple. First cook your pasta and let it get cold. If your in a hurry you can blanch it with ice but I usually just make it in the morning and let it sit in the fridge to cool down. (Don’t put it in the fridge when it is still super hot) I usually add some olive oil and lemon juice at this point. Just a tiny bit of olive oil so the pasta doesn’t stick together and a squirt of lemon juice for a little freshness but that’s totally optional (I sometimes forget it completely.) I also add lots of salt to the water I cook the pasta in like I do with all pasta!
Chop your bacon into small pieces and cook while your pasta cooks. Let cool.
Next just chop up all the rest of your ingredients. I halve the cherry tomatoes, cut the cheese into small cubes and cut thin slices of green onion. Chiffonade your basil leaves to make thin long pieces. To chiffonade just put the all the basil leaves together and roll it up then chop the roll.
Next prepare the dressing. In the Ree Drummond recipe she uses Adobe sauce for the dressing. I prefer the flavor of siracha and find it’s just easier to keep on hand. You can use whatever you like. Whisk together your milk, mayo, vinegar and a squirt of siracha. Add a little salt and pepper.
Once your pasta and bacon are completely cooled down you can mix them with the rest of the ingredients, toss in the dressing and your done! I usually like to let it cool for a half hr or so in the fridge while I cook the rest of the meal but don’t always have the time and serve it right away and it is still excellent! If you are bringing this somewhere I suggest mixing the whole salad together but keeping the dressing seperate and dressing it when you arrive.
I hope you guys enjoy this recipe! What is you or go to summer recipe? Let me know if you try this!