Cheese pasta salad includes a basic combination of cheese, pasta, herbs and vegetables, where the ingredients are tossed together with the cooked pasta, dressed, seasoned, chilled and served. Meat, tofu or fish are also often used in this salad. Popularly eaten in the western countries, the concept of Cheese and pasta in salad is most likely to have shaped up in Italy, where the most popular pastas have originated. Salads with cheese and pasta are a traditional part of the Greek cuisine as well.
This salad may combine one or more varieties of hard cheeses. Some cheeses that find common mention in the cheese pasta salad recipes include Arugula, Feta, Gouda, Parmesan, Cheddar, Goat Cheese and Mozzarella. Sometimes, different pasta types may also be used to give the dish a vibrant appeal. Commonly used types of pasta are Fusilli, Seashell, Penne and Macaroni.
Popular Methods of Preparation of Cheese Pasta Salad
Here are some of the most well known cheese pasta salad recipes –
Three Cheese Pasta Salad with Olives –
Ingredients: Black olives, red bell pepper, feta cheese, white cheddar cheese, Gouda cheese, fresh basil, vinegar, basil or red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, olive oil and sugar.
Preparation Overview: The pasta is combined with all the cheese, vegetables and herbs. The dressing is made with the rest of the ingredients and the pasta is coated with it. The salad is chilled before serving.
Antipasto Pasta Salad –
Ingredients: Seashell pasta, chopped Genoa salami and pepperoni sausage, Asiago cheese slices, black olives, green and red bell peppers, tomatoes, Italian style salad dressing, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dried oregano, dried parsley, Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper seasoning.
Preparation Overview: The pasta is cooked and mixed with the pepperoni, salami, cheese, olives, peppers and tomatoes and refrigerated for an hour before being served with the dressing. The dressing is made by whisking together the olive oil, herbs, vinegar and seasoning.
Greek Pasta Salad –
Ingredients: Penne pasta, cooked chicken or turkey cubes, ripe olive slices, green and red peppers, feta cheese crumbles and creamy Caesar salad dressing.
Preparation Overview: The cooked pasta is combined with all the ingredients in a serving bowl, refrigerated covered and served cold.
Three Cheese Italian Pasta Salad –
Ingredients: Tricolor fusilli pasta, cubed genoa salami, provolone cheese cubes, Cento marinated Roasted Red Peppers with liquid, bocconcini mozzarella, grape tomatoes, parsley, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, oregano, basil, salt and pepper seasoning and shaved Parmigiano.
Preparation Overview: All the ingredients are tossed together with cooked pasta, refrigerated overnight and served with a garnish of shaved Parmigiano.