asparagus, spinach, & gouda pasta salad

 photo pastasalad_zps768c9b5b.jpg

I love happy accidents in the kitchen. We needed to bring a side dish to family dinner and had a lot of asparagus, tomatoes, and Gouda cheese leftover. Once we added a few more ingredients, it made a super DELICIOUS pasta salad!

You can make it cold like traditional pasta salad, or roast up the asparagus and tomatoes and add the rest of the ingredients when the pasta is still warm, throw on some grilled chicken and you have yourself a meal!

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 10 min 
Serves: 10-12 1 cup servings

1 lb bow tie pasta 
1 bunch asparagus
1 pint grape tomatoes, sliced in half
3-4 green onions
1 bag fresh spinach
*2 cups Gouda cheese, cubed
*1/2 cup-1 cup crumbled goat cheese
1 bottle Olive Garden salad dressing (which they sell at Wal-mart now!) 

*If you're not a fan of Gouda or goat cheese, skip it and add shaved parmesean instead!

(Additional add-ins that also sound delicious):
Calamata olives
Crumbled bacon
Grilled Chicken

Instructions (served cold):
Boil pasta according to instructions, about 10 minutes until cooked.
Drain pasta and put in large bowl.
Add 1/3 of the bottle of dressing to the noodles, mix, and let the noodles cool to room temperature.
Chop up asparagus, tomatoes, green onions, and Gouda cheese. Add to pasta.
Add remaining ingredients and toss.
Refrigerate until chilled.

Instructions (served warm):
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
Cut asparagus and tomatoes. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in oven on foil lined baking sheet for 12-15 minutes until veggies are roasted, but not too brown. 
While veggies are roasting, boil pasta according to instructions, about 10 minutes. 
Drain pasta and put in a large bowl. Add 1/3 of the bottle of dressing and spinach to the noodles and toss.
Chop green onions and Gouda cheese. 
Add all ingredients to warm pasta and toss.
Serve immediately.

 Happy tummies all around.

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