Old-Fashioned Pasta Salad

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This is one of those recipes that’s better the next day. And even better the one after.

It’s a good base pasta salad recipe, so you can add anything else that you want to it (little bits of crispy bacon, other veggies, different kinds of cheese), but I think it’s perfect as is.

Old Fashioned Pasta Salad

16-oz. pasta twists
2 lbs. Gruyere or Emmentaler cheese, cubed
1 bunch scallions, chopped
10-15 cherry tomatoes, chopped
1 cup good olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 Tbls. oregano
4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 cloves of garlic, mashed
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 cups croutons
1 bunch of romaine

My mother’s recipe reads: Combine all ingredients and enjoy.

Here’s how that breaks down
Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling, salted water until it’s a little past al dente. Drain and cool. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.

Whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, salt, pepper, and garlic. Pour this dressing over your pasta and toss to coat evenly.

Add in the parmesan a little at a time, sprinkling it by the handful and stirring to make sure it distributes evenly.

Add in the cubed cheese, croutons, and scallions. Toss again to combine thoroughly.

Transfer to your serving dish, and tuck romaine leaves around the edge to spiffy up the presentation.

A note on the pasta
I always used regular Barilla pasta, but lately I’ve been making this with Barilla Plus, which is the pasta maker’s high-protein noodle. Each serving has 17 grams of protein, 7 grams of fiber, and 360 mg of ALA-omega-3 fatty acids.

Now, I would never make this switch strictly to eat a healthier pasta (I hate the taste of a lot of the high-protein pasta out there), but this stuff actually tastes just like regular pasta. So with the added potential health benefits it offers, why not?

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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie works as an advertising copywriter in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.


  1. I really like the dreamfield's pasta, which is hard to tell apart from general barilla. Not higher protein, but lower glycemic. Works nicely in pasta salads too. Oh, what was I going to say. Oh yeah. A nice andouille sausage, sliced and diced, makes nearly every pasta salad a bit better (less vegan, for sure... I wonder, do they make tofu andouille?).
  2. Oh, you know what? My mom loves that stuff. I'll have to try it again. I remember it tasting very much like regular pasta. Andouille is awesome...that would probably be really good. I'm embarrassed to say that a friend of mine has gotten me hooked on those chicken and apple sausages that Bruce Aidells makes: http://www.aidells.com/sausages/descriptions/details.cfm Grilled, I bet they'd make a nice, summery addition.
  3. Had some of those very same Aidells sausages in a Dreamfield's rotini (the secret is to cook them short of the listed cook time) with cream, cheddar, parm, pepper, sun dried tomatoes, and ground pequin peppers. Very good. PS- love the blog.