Pasta can be the ultimate comfort food — digging into chewy, succulent pieces of flour mixed with exciting sauces like carbonara and pesto provides a soothing experience that is akin to snuggling in with your favorite blanket. Still, the scorching summer weather can leave you wanting to ditch the heavy, piping entrees and opt for something a bit lighter and cooler. Bring on the pasta salad.
In this Mediterranean Pasta Salad (pictured above) from Food Network Kitchen, the heavy pasta sauce is replaced by a tangy dressing infused with vinegar and mustard. The salad is then topped with sun-dried tomatoes, basil, olives, oregano and a spicy pepper called pepperoncini. To add even more flavor to the dish, two types of cheeses are used to bring the flavors together — traditional creamy feta cheese and a more modern pungent Romano cheese. The combination of the two gives a hearty feel to an otherwise light and cool dish.