Confession: me and smoked Gouda have been having a relationship this summer.
And it’s intense.
I’ve been putting it on anything and everything: from my crackers to my scrambled eggs. I can’t stop. I won’t stop. I love smoked Gouda cheese.
So, for lunch a few weeks ago, I made a Smoked Gouda & Bacon Pasta Salad and seriously loved it so much that I contemplated eating it again for breakfast the next morning. Ashby told me it was her very favorite thing I’ve ever made. Ha! A girl after her mama’s own heart. This pasta salad is served cold, so it makes a great lunch, side dish or even a light supper. If you can’t find smoked Gouda (my cheese monger sells it right there in my local grocery store), then you can substitute regular Gouda. Either way, it’s GOOOOOOOOOD!
This recipe serves about four. You’ll notice that I say “about” a lot in this recipe. That’s the beauty of a pasta salad…you can add as little or as much as you like as you assemble.
1 pound of elbow pasta
6 pieces of bacon, cooked to crisp and crumbled
1 red onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 teaspoons cumin
1/4 pound of smoked Gouda cheese, either shredded or chopped into small pieces
about a 1.5 cups of Ranch dressing (buy a good quality one!)
salt and pepper
Bring a large pot of water up to a boil. Drop your pasta in and cook to al dente (about 5 minutes, do not over cook!). As soon as it’s ready, drain the water from the pot and then immediately run cold water over the pasta to get it nice and chilled (and stop the cooking process). Drain all of the water and then place your pasta in a mixing bowl. Next, add your bacon pieces (reserving a little bit for the end to garnish), chopped red onion, chopped green bell pepper, cumin, your shredded or chopped Gouda and your Ranch along with a pinch of both salt and pepper. Toss everything together, cover and then place in the fridge for at least 3 hours up to 48 hours.
When you’re ready to serve, remove from fridge and garnish with a few bacon crumbles.
The cumin (which is smokey) and the cheese just go so well together! And with bacon? What is not better with bacon???? I mean to tell you…you will be wanting this for breakfast too!