sunday ham & cheese pasta salad

This was so crazy good. I didn't have spinach the first time around, but it called for it and I wished I had it! Next time I make it, I will be sure I do, and I may even experiment with adding a bit of Dijon mustard to the dressing. Served with a bright, green salad (using leftover scallion vinaigrette), this made a quick and tasty meal - though, eater beware, it is high in fat due to the dressing and cheeses. I also brought it for lunch the next day, as shown in the photo below, at work served over spring mix and it was delicious. This would also be great to bring to a party or picnic. Enjoy!

Sunday Ham & Cheese Pasta Salad 
Yield 4 to 6 servings
  • 1 egg*
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese 
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (trust me, it's good!)
  • 8 ounces corkscrew, whole-grain pasta
  • 10 ounces fresh spinach, stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 8 ounces cubed cheese, such as Colby-jack or mozzarella
  • 8 ounces ham, chopped (from the deli is fine)
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, for garnish 
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. To make the dressing, place egg in a bowl. Whisking constantly, slowly add the oil to the egg and whisk until thickened. Add the Parmesan cheese, white wine vinegar, and ground cloves and whisk until fully incorporated. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Cook corkscrew pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain well. Toss the hot pasta with the dressing until the pasta is well coated. Add the mozzarella, ham, spinach and tomatoes and toss to combine the dressing. Cover and chill for 4-5 hours.
  3. Garnish with more Parmesan cheese before serving.
I brought leftovers (served over greens) with me to lunch the next day, as shown below:
*Note: The dressing contains a raw egg which is incorporated into the hot pasta. 

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