I am not taking credit for this recipe as I got the idea from Whole Foods. I used to love getting some of their Smoked Mozzarella Pasta from the salad bar, but since changing my diet and lifestyle for lyme disease a lot of the ingredients don't mesh with me anymore. I wanted to come up with a healthier version of this pasta, so I got creative in the kitchen, because seriously that's what I do for fun!
- 1 box of organic penne (I used the 365 brand)
- 2-3 thick slices of mozzarella or 1/3 of a block of smoked mozzarella
- 1 red pepper
- 1 cup of chopped spinach
- 3/4 cup of plan-based mayo (I used Earth's Balance)
- 1/4 cup of organic white wine vinegar
- Handful of fresh parsley
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 garlic clove
- Olive oil
- Pink salt and pepper
- Boil water and cook the penne pasta based on the box instructions. When pasta is done rinse noodles with cool water so they don't stick when refrigerated.
- Cut-up red bell pepper into small pieces or strips, chop up spinach. Cut mozzarella into small square pieces and set aside.
- Add a drizzle of olive oil to pan on medium heat and add the red pepper and spinach, cover with lid. Let cook until tender, can remove the lid for 3-4 minutes and let finish cooking.
- To make the sauce: in a bowl combine the 1/4 cup white wine vinegar, 3/4 cup plant-based mayo, 1 tsp chili powder, fresh parsley, 1 pressed garlic clove, and 1 tsp red pepper flakes, stir well. Taste and if vinegar is too potent can add a little more of the plant-based mayo or some water to help lower the acidity. Add pink salt and pepper to taste.
- Combine the sauce, cooked vegetables and the noodles and stir in the mozzarella chunks. Can add additional red pepper flakes for more spice.
- Let the pasta salad cool and set in the refrigerator, preferably overnight, but a few hours will do the trick.