Goat’s cheese, red onion and walnuts work beautifully together in this delicious, warm pasta salad. This salad can be thrown together in less than 30 minutes, making it great for busy worknights or speedy weekend lunches. It tastes great cold too, so make double and pop some in a lunchbox to take to work the next day!
A happy accident…
Don’t you just love happy accidents? This lovely warm goat’s cheese salad is the result of one such happy accident. I found a picture of a pasta salad that I liked in a magazine and duly went out and bought all the ingredients.
It was only when I came to make the salad, I realised I hadn’t really read the recipe properly at all. I must have looked at the picture and assumed I knew what was in the salad. My ingredients were not at all what was required, so I went ahead and made a salad with the ingredients I did have and it turned out so beautifully I just had to share it with you.
A beautiful combination of flavours
The combination of sharp and salty goat’s cheese, earthy nutty walnuts and sweet roasted red onions is just such a fabulous one. The warmth in the pasta and onions makes the goat’s cheese melt a little so it’s all gloopy and oozy and the salad leaves just finish the dish off with a beautiful freshness and a pepperiness from the rocket.
A quick and easy pasta salad
This delicious Warm Goat’s Cheese, Red Onion and Walnut Pasta Salad is so easy to make! Start by roasting red onion wedges, adding the walnuts to the roasting tray 5 minutes before the end of the roasting time.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta. When the pasta is ready, drain and return to the pan. Add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Add the roasted red onions and walnuts into the pasta and stir again.
Finally, tip the pasta into a serving bowl and add the chopped goat’s cheese and the salad leaves. Stir well so everything is evenly distributed, and to allow the goat’s cheese to melt slightly and the salad leaves to gently wilt in the warmth of the pasta.
What to serve with Goat’s Cheese and Walnut Pasta Salad?
This salad really is a complete meal in its own right. But if you want to make it more substantial, you could simply serve it with some crusty white bread and/or some extra salad leaves on the side.
What to drink with Goat’s Cheese and Walnut Pasta Salad?
I like to serve this pasta salad with a glass of Loire Sauvignon Blanc – such a perfect match with Chèvre goat’s cheese, which also comes from the Loire. (Top tip – wine and food that come from the same place in France often go well together!)
What to do with leftover Goat’s Cheese and Walnut Pasta Salad?
This is a salad that works best served fresh. But if you do end up with leftovers, I recommend you refrigerate the leftovers and eat them the next day – it makes an impressive packed lunch!
Can you freeze Goat’s Cheese and Walnut Pasta Salad?
No, this salad is not suitable for freezing.
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Warm Goat's Cheese, Red Onion and Walnut Pasta Salad
- 1 large red onion (or two small ones) cut into 8 wedges
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 300 g pasta I use fusilli
- 50 g walnut halves
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 50 g salad leaves I use rocket (arugula)
- 100 g goat's cheese - ideally Chèvre chopped into small chunks
- Preheat your oven to 200C/ 180C fan / gas mark 6 / 400F.
- Place the red onion wedges in a small roasting tray. Drizzle over 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and then turn the wedges in the oil. Roast the red onions in your preheated oven for 10 minutes. Turn and roast the red onions for a further 10 minutes, until the wedges are tinged with golden brown.
- While the red onions are roasting, cook the pasta according to packet instructions / your own preferences. Drain when ready and put back into the saucepan. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, plus some salt and pepper. Stir to coat the pasta evenly.
- After the red onions have been roasting for 15 minutes, add the walnuts to the tray and put the roasting tray back in the oven for the final 5 minutes.
- After the final 5 minutes are up, remove the roasting tray from the oven and tip the red onions and walnuts into the pasta. Stir well to combine.
- Tip the pasta/onion/walnut mix into a serving bowl and add the chopped goat's cheese and the salad leaves. Stir well so everything is evenly distributed and to allow the goat's cheese to melt slightly and the salad leaves to gently wilt in the warmth of the pasta.
- Serve the salad in a big bowl in the middle of the table for everyone to help themselves.
- Not suitable for freezing.
- Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
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