This is Jeff's favorite pasta salad, inspired by a macaroni salad his mom makes, but perfected by an "oops" moment in my kitchen. ;)
Boil 8 oz. of pasta to al dente (we like medium shells the best = 2 c. of dry pasta)
While it's boiling prepare:
8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese cubed in small cubes
1/2 c. red pepper (or yellow)
1 small can of sliced black olives, drained
Mix the dressing: (I like to do it in a jar and shake it.)
3/4 c. lite mayo
1/4 c. milk
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. red cayenne pepper (to your taste)
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
When the pasta is done and stops steaming, drain it well and dump it in the bowl you'll mix it in. While it's still hot, sprinkle the cheese cubes (and I also do the peppers/olives) all over it, so that they melt just a little and stick to the pasta. Jeff says THIS is the secret. :) I discovered the "secret" when I was in a hurry, and went ahead and dumped the cheese in, so I could pop the bowl in the fridge and run. What I thought was an "oops" turned out to be a secret step ... and a time saver! LOVE THAT!
After the pasta has cooled a little, pour the dressing all over it and mix well. Some of the cheese will clump together ... it's up to you if you want to break it up or leave it as a "bonus" for someone to find.
Chill the pasta salad in the fridge until it's very cold. I like to give it a few hours, so that the flavors blend really well. It's awesome if you make it in the morning and serve it that night.
|This batch was served with barbecued pulled pork. YUM!|