When I get in a pasta salad rut, one of my favorite ways to break out of it is to make pasta salad modeled after one of my favorite green salads. Cobb Pasta Salad and Greek Pasta Salad are two favorites. I’m almost always pleased with the outcome, probably because there are so few ingredients or flavors that I don’t like with pasta. Pasta is like a blank canvas you can use to let your creativity run free.
This Caesar Pasta Salad is modeled after my Caesar Coleslaw and it is a delicious and satisfying pasta salad. During the summer months, I love the nice crispy crunch of the romaine lettuce in a Caesar salad. There’s something so refreshing about it. I add enough romaine to this dish so you know it’s there, but not so much that it overtakes the pasta.
I make a creamy Caesar dressing from mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, garlic, and a few minced anchovies. You can leave the anchovies out if you really object to them. I add a big handful of grape tomatoes and they, along with the romaine lettuce and a sprinkling of chopped green onions, make the salad fresh and bright. A few croutons on top give some crunch and add a finishing Caesar salad touch.
Toss in a few diced grilled chicken breasts and you have yourself not just a crowd-pleasing side dish, but a dish that works as a light summer meal.
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Caesar Pasta Salad
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1 clove large garlic pressed
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 anchovies finely minced
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 pound penne pasta cooked until al dente and rinsed with cool water
- 6 leaves large Romaine lettuce thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes
- 4 green onions. green parts sliced
- 1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 grilled chicken breasts diced
- 1 1/2 cups croutons
- In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise through the Worcestershire sauce.
- Toss half of the dressing with the pasta and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Mix in remaining ingredients including the remaining dressing and serve.
Be sure to salt your cooking water for the pasta well, at least 1 tablespoon of salt.
Anchovies can be omitted. You might want to double the Worcestershire sauce if you do.
Sharing with The Country Cook’s Weekend Potluck
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