Pasta salads are always so popular during the summer months, at pot lucks and family gatherings. Summer is almost here and I am on a green pea kick. I love green peas, I really do. I took my regular Salad Bar Green Pea Salad, changed the dressing a bit and added a pound of cute De Cecco Gemelli Pasta and my Pasta, Cheese and Peas Summer Salad was born. Cooking is fun. Make it fun.
If you can get your hands on De Cecco Pasta, I promise, you will not be disappointed. It holds up well in all kinds of recipes and it is my preferred pasta of choice. De Cecco isn’t sold in all grocery stores, but Amazon has great prices.
My two favorite shapes, Gemelli Pasta and Cavatappi Pasta are actually priced lower than many of the other shapes on Amazon. Either shape work well with this recipe and I love to use Cavatappi Pasta for Macaroni and Cheese.
Plan a head, as the salad tastes better the next day. If you keep Kosher, skip the bacon and use poached chicken instead. The pasta salad will be just as good and I love to switch it up with bacon, ham or chicken.
You can make the dressing while the pasta is cooking and using the Pressure Cooker frees you up, as there is no watching for the water to boil. Add the pasta, salt and water to your Pressure Cooker close this lid and let the Pressure Cooker do its magic.
I like to heavily salt my pasta water and then I don’t add much salt to the dressing after it is cooked. If you don’t have a Pressure Cooker, check out Pasta, Cheese and Peas Summertime Salad made on the stove.
If you have this RSVP Strainer Basket, you can put it into your Pressure Cooker and then add the pasta, salt and water. It make it easier to remove the pasta from any excess water and rinse it with cool water to stop the cooking. If not, just put your pasta right into the Pressure Cooker cooking pot. After your pasta is cooked, rinse with cold water and set aside.
Remove the inner part of the onion and discard; it’s kinda bitter.
Dice the onion finely, or if you want thin slivers, make thin slivers.
Dice the cheese into small cubes and make them as even as you can, or grate the cheese, if you like.
Chop up your bacon, ham or chicken and add it to your mixing bowl.
Add all the sauce ingredients into a small bowl.
Using a large mixing bowl, add the peas, bacon and onion.
Dump in the dressing and gently mix it though the pea mixture.
Add in the cheese and mix everything together. It’s good enough to eat like this, or, you can try my Salad Bar Pea Salad, which is very similar to this Pasta, Cheese and Peas Summer Salad, but with a different dressing.
This makes a beautiful presentation and is tasty enough to bring to an important Pot Luck or Family Function. If you prefer your pasta to have more dressing, make an extra half batch. I like the dressing on the light side for this salad.
- Instant Pot Smart DUO60
- J.A. Henckels Classic 7-inch Hollow Edge Santoku Knife
- Amco Advanced Performance 18/10 Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons
- Culina Stackable (Dry) Stainless Steel Measuring Cups
- Anchor Hocking Glass (Liquid) Measuring Cups
- Rösle Stainless Steel Flat Whisk – a MUST have, probably my most used utensil
- Alpha Armour Salt Box with Spoon
- Bellemain Porcelain Ramekins
- OXO Good Grips Cutting Board
- Lodge 10.25″ Cast Iron Skillet
- RSVP Stainless Steel Strainer Basket
- 3.5 Quart Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl
- De Cecco Gemelli Pasta
Here is your handy printable recipe:
- 8 Slices Crisp Bacon, chopped or crumbled
- 1 pound Gemelli or Cavatappi Pasta
- 1 Tablespoon Sea Salt
- 3.5 cups Fresh Water (4 cups, if using Fresh Peas)
- ½ cup Mayonnaise
- ¼ cup Plain Yogurt or Sour Cream (or Mayonnaise, if a heavier result is desired)
- 1.5 teaspoons Lemon Juice
- 1 teaspoon Sugar
- 1.5 teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1.5 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
- ¼ cup Red Onion, finely diced
- 10 oz Frozen or Fresh** Peas
- 4 oz Sharp Cheddar Cheese, cubed or grated
- Salt to taste
- ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper, freshly ground, or to taste
- Add pasta, salt and water to Pressure Cooker cooking pot.
- Lock on lid and close Pressure Valve.
- Cook on High Pressure for 4 minutes.
- When Beep sounds, allow a 1 minute Natural Pressure Release and then a Quick Release.
- When all pressure has been released, remove lid.
- **If using fresh peas, add them to the cooking pot prior to cooling off the pasta and allow them to blanche for 30 seconds.
- Remove cooking pot and pour in fresh cool water.
- Drain water from pasta and rinse until no longer hot.
- In a small bowl add mayonnaise, lemon juice, sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and whisk together.
- In a large bowl, add peas, cheese and bacon and pour in dressing. Gently mix together and then add pasta and combine.
- Allow Salad to marinate at least four hours in the refrigerator, or overnight.
Rule of thumb for cooking pasta - use ½ of the time (lower number) indicated on the package.