My Ultimate Pasta Salad
Easy to make for any occasion!
Below I have outlined a very simple recipe that is roughly based on my favorite pasta salad growing up.
Right up until I was a teenager I didn't even know that there were actually different KINDS of pasta salad. Then one day I was completely horrified when my Auntie made pasta salad and it was NOT what I was expecting. Thinking back on it, I'm sure that it was fine.
So after having overcome my trauma and keeping an open mind over the years I have tried many pasta salads and to be honest I've yet to meet a pasta salad that holds a candle to my childhood favorite.
I even buy the seasoning mix a case at a time (via Amazon.com) and import it! Thankfully my husband supports me in this ritual because he loves my pasta salad as well!
Note: Using anything but Helmans Real Mayo on this recipe is sacrilege!
My Pasta Salad Recipe
Many - this recipe has the potential to make a massive vat of pasta salad. 1 6oz packet of seasoning will coat about 10 cups of pasta salad in total.
Good seasons zesty Italian dressing mix (6oz) (Available in most US supermarkets in the salad dressing asile.)
Pasta - I prefer to use elbows or shells
HELMANS Real Mayonnaise
My favourite combination of vegetables for taste are Cucumber, Cherry Tomatoes, Vidalia Onion and Red Pepper. If you want a more colourful salad, substitute the cherry tomatoes for yellow baby plum tomatoes or substitute the red pepper for a yellow pepper, you can also use a purple salad onion as a substitute for the Vidalia. I prefer the taste of cherry tomatoes and red pepper though so when I'm making it for myself I don't really mind if there are two red vegetables!
1. Spoon about 1/2 of a cup of Mayo into a small bowl and mix in the full packet of seasoning. When mayo is fully mixed cover and put it in the fridge for later.
2. Boil pasta. I always prefer to have my pasta salad half vegetables and half pasta rather than mostly pasta with the occasional vegetable. You can have whichever ratio of veg and pasta that you prefer of course.
3. Cut up your vegetables to sizes that you're comfortable with. (Slice the cherry tomatoes in half to release the seeds and flavour) Set the bowl of cut veggies to one side.
4. Drain your pasta when it is slightly al dente. Al dente is important because it will help the pasta maintain its integrity during mixing and as the pasta sits in the bowl with the mayo and wet veg it will absorb the remaining moisture that it requires.
5. Run cold water over the pasta in the strainer until the pasta is cool
6. Dump pasta back in the pan or into the bowl you intend to serve it in and combine with the vegetables and mix gently. Your clean bare hands are the best tool for this job.
7. Add in 1/2 of your pre prepared mayo and mix (again, clean bare hands are the best tool for this job)
9. Continue adding the seasoned mayo until you are satisfied with the flavour and consistency.
Tip: Try adding some chunks of mild cheddar!
Good Seasons Zesty Italian Dressing Mix
Note: Pasta salad tastes best after sitting in the fridge for a day to absorb all of the flavors!