I am very picky about my pasta salad. And my cole slaw, now that I'm thinking about it. I don't like the typical from-a-box pasta salad that rears it's ugly head at many a summer cook-out. It's not enough to boil some pasta to death, throw in some chopped peppers and olives, and drench it in bottled Italian dressing. I prefer a macaroni salad that is flavorful and creamy with some thought put into it. I realize I'm a pasta salad snob.
I'm kind of a food snob in general, I suppose. And a grammar snob. (So if you ever see any grammatical errors in these posts, please let me know. I want my grammar to be bad-ass.)
Now that you know that I turn my nose up at boring old pasta salad, I'm sure you are wondering why I'm writing about one. Well, I actually found this recipe very interesting. It has some intriguing ingredients and quantities that appealed to me. I just had to try it. That was last year. And I've been making it regularly since because it's my new favorite macaroni salad.
This recipe for Hawaiian Pasta Salad has a large amount of vinegar, which I love. I guess it's because I'm not so much made up of sugar and spice but piss and vinegar. I also love the fact that you boil the hell out of the pasta, which seemed very wrong to me, but learned it is oh-so right in this application. It's creamy and tangy and soft and crunchy all at once.
What is your favorite pasta salad to make for a cook-out?
Hawaiian Pasta Salad
2 c. whole milk (use whole or the dressing will be too thin)
2 c. mayonnaise (use regular or the dressing will be too thin)
1 T. brown sugar
1 lb. elbow macaroni
1/2 c. cider vinegar, plus more for serving, if you want
4 green onions
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
1 celery rib, chopped fine
salt and pepper
Whisk 1-1/2 cup milk, 1 cup mayo, brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 2 teaspoons of pepper in a bowl.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt to the water and add pasta. Boil it until it's light in color and very soft (no room for al dente here). Drain the macaroni and return it to the empty pot. Add the vinegar to the pasta and stir. Toss pasta and vinegar until the vinegar is absorbed. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool about 10 minutes.
Pour milk / mayo mixture over pasta and toss to coat well. Cool completely.
Add green onions, carrots, remaining milk and remaining mayonnaise to the pasta and stir to coat completely. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
Sprinkle with additional cider vinegar on each serving, if desired.
Adapted from Cook's Country recipe for Hawaiian Macaroni Salad