Everyone will enjoy this delicious blue cheese pasta salad made with Gorgonzola cheese, candied walnuts, and a light raspberry vinaigrette. The perfect dish to bring to the party or serve to your guests.
Our favorite Italian restaurant serves a delicious greens salad with blue cheese and candied walnuts so when I was going to a party I tried putting together similar flavors to make a delicious pasta salad.
Making a Blue Cheese Pasta Salad
For the pasta, I chose a Cavatappi noodle. You can use any pasta shape you like. I do think a short pasta like penne is better just so you can be sure to get a good portion of all the ingredients. Cavatappi is a good looking pasta similar to fusilli but with ridges that hold the dressing well.
I purchased a good Italian gorgonzola cheese. Gorgonzola is a very creamy blue cheese that still has that great pungent flavor. However, any type of blue cheese would work.
You can sometimes find blue cheese crumbles in the grocery store, but if not just take a few minutes and crumble it by hand.
Next comes candied walnuts. Here you melt a little butter and sugar in a non-stick frying pan. Once they are both melted together remove the pan from the stove and toss in the walnuts. Stir quickly and spread on some parchment. Use a fork to break up the walnuts so you don't get too many sticking together.
Add in some vegetables. I used thinly sliced zucchini, tomatoes, and red onion. However, you can add in whatever you like such as spinach, broccoli, or pieces of grilled or roasted chicken.
The dressing is a simple raspberry vinaigrette made with raspberry vinegar, light olive oil, dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. Make it in a jar that you can easily shake up before pouring on the salad.
Start with half of the dressing and see if you to add want more or not.
I love the way it turned out. It's colorful, with lots of interesting flavors and textures, and there's plenty for everyone to share.
- 1 pound short pasta such as Cavatappi shown here or penne - cooked al dente
- .5 pound gorgonzola cheese crumbled
- 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes cut in half
- 1.5 cups thinly sliced zucchini quarters
- 1/4 cup red onion slices broken up
- 2 tablespoons of fresh flat leaf parsley
- 1 cup walnut pieces
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 1/2 cup raspberry vinegar
- 3/4 cup light olive oil or canola oil
- 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- Slice zucchini into quarters, then into thin bite-sized pieces.
- Make candied walnut by melting the butter into a skillet.
- Add sugar and stir until melted.
- Toss the walnuts in and stir quickly.
- Spread on a cookie sheet or piece of parchment making sure to break up any clumps.
- Make the vinaigrette by combining vinegar, oil, dijon mustard, salt, and pepper into a jar. Shake before using.
- Combine cooked pasta, cheese, candied walnuts, tomatoes, zucchini, red onions, and parsley in a large bowl.
- Add 1/2 of the raspberry vinaigrette and mix well.
- Add more dressing if desired.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 377Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 265mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 2gSugar: 14gProtein: 8g
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site.