In my house, we love our pasta in all shapes and forms. Most of the time, I make it as a hot dish, but with summer upon us, (at least for us, South Floridians), I decided to make a killer Pasta Salad. I normally use the elbow shape just for cold pasta salads, since it’s the perfect size to blend well with all the chopped ingredients. You will never see me use this shape with any kind of red sauce, except for macaroni & cheese. LOL! I know, it’s an American thing! This time, I served it as an accompaniment to some grilled New York strips. My family went crazy over it, and ate, and ate, and ate to their heart’s content.
This recipe will yield a very large bowl of pasta salad, but it can easily be divided in half.
Serves: 10 – 15 as a side dish
Level of difficulty: Easy to medium
Prepping time from start to finish: 1 hour
Chilling time: Minimum of 4 hours in the fridge
- 1.5 lb. pasta, elbow shape, cooked al dente
- 1/2 lb. of bacon, crumbled
- 4 boiled eggs, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 ribs of celery, chopped
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, diced
- 1 cup mayo*
- 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp. Mrs. Dash, Italian Medley, no sodium
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Lots of extra virgin olive oil to drizzle
1) Cook bacon, crumble it and set aside.
2) Chop up all your veggies.
3) Get all your ingredients, condiments, and spices ready.
4) Boil eggs, chop them up set aside.
5) Boil salted water for pasta, and cook according to package directions.
6) Drain pasta well, and pour it in a very large mixing bowl.
7) Add all the ingredients and mix well.
8) Drizzle with olive oil. Mix again, cover and chill in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours. The colder the salad, the tastier it will be. This will allow the flavors to infuse nicely.
Right before serving, remove from the fridge, and drizzle more olive oil to moisten the salad.
* Notice that my salad is not saturated with mayonnaise, however if you don’t like mayonnaise at all, just substitute it with more olive oil, and add some red wine vinegar. It will be similar to a vinaigrette dressing. Taste, and adjust the spices as needed.
My son Matthew is a very picky eater, and he said, he’s never had such a good pasta salad before. The compliments were pouring in, as I sat and watch the bowl of pasta salad slowly disappearing before my eyes. This was a good sign that I had prepared a wonderful culinary creation. My job was done in the kitchen, and I was happy with the results.
I hope the next time you get invited to a picnic, you will offer to make this very refreshing pasta salad.
Happy Cooking From My Kitchen To Yours!