Monday, July 26, 2010

Perfect pasta salad

Do you ever have a craving for a food you normally wouldn't find appealing?  A few weeks ago I found myself craving pasta salad with cheese - not something I'd generally pick off the potluck table.  Thanks to the Better Homes and Garden cookbook, I was able to make the classic pasta-cheddar salad.  Last night was the third time I made it, in spite of not caring for either sour cream or pickle relish.

Pasta Cheddar Salad

1 cup pasta, cooked and well drained*
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese**
1/3 cup celery, chopped
3 tablespoons green pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons onion, chopped
1/4 cup mayonnaise***
1/4 cup sour cream***
1 tablespoon pickle relish
2 tablespoons milk****

Mix cheese, celery, green pepper, onion, mayo, sour cream and pickle relish in medium bowl.  Add pasta and mix well.  Chill for several hours before serving.  Serves 6 as a side dish.

*The original recipe says elbow macaroni or shells; use whatever medium size pasta floats your boat (farfalle are pretty, and tri-color rotini work well, too)
**Bagged, shredded cheese is nasty.  Shred your own, or do what I did and cut chunk cheese into little cubes.  You don't need to use cheddar, either; I used gouda last night, and it tastes...goud-a.
***Feel free to use low-fat or fat-free, or any combination thereof.
****The original recipe calls for french dressing, which I never have around because I don't like it (duh).  The milk is use to thin the mayo/sour cream mix so it coats everything better.  Remember the dressing will firm up in the refrigerator.

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