AKA The Pasta Salad of My People
Some of my most-fond memories are of the picnics my grandmother hosted for the whole family on Memorial Day and Labor Day. My cousins and I would play tag while my aunts set up tables laden with family favorites — sloppy joes, potato salad, barbecue chicken, coleslaw, corn on the cob, iced tea, fruit salad, brownies and — my favorite — macaroni salad.
As I grew older and “pasta salad” grew to mean more than the good old macaroni standards, I enjoyed the wide variety of alternatives my cousins would make. But there was something just so wonderful about the vinegary and sweet Pennsylvania Dutch macaroni salad of my childhood.
Not long ago, I was going through a box of books in my attic and found my grandmother’s recipe notebook — all her favorites penciled in cursive — and landed on the page that listed the “cooked mayonnaise dressing” for her macaroni and potato salads. I read down the list of ingredients and saw that it included flour. I had no idea!
Continue Reading Beat the Wheat: Macaroni Salad
Learn the basic elements of a pasta salad and then mix and match to create a recipe tailored to your tastebuds:
Experiment with shapes such as orecchiette, penne, or radiator, cooked al dente.
Continue Reading Create Your Own: Pasta Salad
Pasta salad: it's more than a side dish -- make it a meal.
Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of life. It’s not a campaign to turn everyone in the world vegetarian or vegan; in fact, many involved are meat-lovers. Eating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?
Sure, pasta salad is a picnic side dish. But why wait till Saturday afternoons to eat it? I don’t care what anyone says — pasta salad is dinner. You eat pasta primavera or fettuccine Alfredo for dinner, why not pasta salad? Is it just because it’s cold? Salads and sandwiches can be dinner, and they’re both usually served cold. Cold soups are for dinner, and sometimes — maybe not on the best days — cereal is dinner. It’s time pasta salad got a promotion. Yes, a scoop is lovely served with grilled picnic-y fare. But pasta salad makes a nice weekday meal on its own, too.
Roger Mooking isn’t one to doctor up a box of bow ties with a bottle of Zesty Italian; the Everyday Exotic host is known for making everyday recipes, well, exotic. His pasta salad does call for bow ties, but it’s dressed with a homemade creamy green onion dressing. Red, yellow and orange peppers add color and crunch and toasted coconut mellows the bite from the onions in the dressing. Plus the unexpected sweet, crispy bits of are a welcome addition — you’ll wonder why you didn’t add toasted coconut to pasta salad sooner.
Continue Reading Meatless Monday: Pasta Salad With Green Onion Dressing