Recipe by drbecca26
From the Whole Foods Market Cookbook. I buy this at the deli at my local Whole Foods a lot, mostly because if I make it, I will eat it ALL. Much better to walk up to the counter and say "One small cup of the mozzarella and penne, please!" Sometimes I find that the deli combines roasted AND fresh bell peppers, a nice added texture, and I'm not sure that they don't blanch their spinach leaves very quickly, as theirs always seem slightly wilted, although it doesn't call for that here. When I make this, my husband prefers that I use some regular mozzarella along with the smoked (just his personal taste) but I like the smoked. When cutting or grating fresh mozzarella, a useful tip is to pop it in the freezer for a few minutes to firm it up a bit--it will be much more receptive to the advances of your knife when it comes out!
Top Review by Michael P.
This recipe, as written, (despite coming from the Whole Foods cook book) tastes in no way like what you buy from Whole Foods.<br/><br/>I managed to fix it so it is indistinguishable from Whole Foods version.<br/><br/>Use the following steps.<br/><br/>Twice as much pasta. (essential or it becomes overwhelmed with mozz)<br/>Quite a bit more bell pepper. (optional)<br/><br/>MUCH more mayo. I used Best Foods mayo and, basically, kept adding extra tablespoons of the stuff and mixing it in until it tasted right. As others have mentioned, this is overhwelmingly vinegary as is. I would estimate I use as much as 2 and a half times as much mayo as called for in the recipe to get it right. This isn't as bad as it sounds since I use twice as much pasta.
- 1⁄4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1⁄2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1⁄2 cup mayonnaise
- 1⁄4 cup white wine vinegar
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- salt & fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 1⁄2 lb penne pasta
- 2 cups packed baby spinach leaves, washed and stemmed
- 2 roasted red peppers, diced
- 1⁄2 lb smoked mozzarella cheese, diced
Directions See How It's Made
- Process the dressing ingredients in food processor or blender until smooth.
- Cook pasta until al dente. Drain pasta in colander and run under cold water until well-cooled.
- In a large bowl, combine cooked pasta, spinach, roasted red peppers and smoked mozzarella.
- Toss the salad with the dressing then serve.