Friday, May 1, 2009

Pasta Salad

Update, 5/25/09: Finally got a picture up. Even if it is a crappy one. I'll try to take a better one later.

Update, 5/2/09, 12:00pm: Apparently there will not be a picture. Mr. ShoeFanatic thought it was SO good that he ate all the leftovers.

Spring has officially sprung here. I love, love, love pasta salad but for some reason, people always tend to put raw onions in it. And I hate raw onions. I started searching for a recipe a while back in hopes that I would either get invited to a BBQ or we would host one.

Ask and you shall receive! We were invited to a Private Practice finale/BBQ last night (can we all say cliffhanger?!) and I literally jumped at the chance to make pasta salad.

I didn't actually measure anything. I just eyed whatever looked right.

1 bag pasta shells
1/2 bag matchstick carrots
1/2 bag frozen peas, thawed
1 block colby jack cheese, cubed
1 cooked, ham steak, cubed

1 packet dry ranch dressing mix
sour cream
Splash of red wine vinegar

Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Meanwhile...Depending on how long your carrots are, run a knife through them so they are bite size.

Boil noodles for approximately 7 minutes. Throw in carrots and boil for another 2-3 minutes.

Pour pasta/carrots into a colander but DO NOT RINSE. You want the starch so the dressing sticks better. Set aside. Or put in the fridge so it can start cooling down. If you do this, you'll want to run your spatula through it fairly often as the outside pasta will cool but the inside pasta won't. Makes sense? Good.

While water is boiling and noodles are cooling...

Whisk together ranch, about a cup of mayo (you will probably add more later) and 2 heaping spoonfuls of sour cream. Whisk this together until you have the desired consistency. When the consistency is right and you feel like it tastes good but it could be just a little better...throw in that splash of red wine vinegar. Whisk some more and it should be just right.

In a large bowl, mix your peas, ham, cheese and cooled pasta/carrots. Fold in the dressing, making sure you coat all the shells. Stick it in the fridge until you are ready to serve.

Yum, yum, yum. This was sooooo good! I was actually worried about the dressing because originally the ranch flavor was really overpowering but then Mr. ShoeFanatic swept in and saved the day with his additions of sour cream and red wine vinegar. That sealed the deal.

This recipe is definitely one of those "free for all" kind of dishes. You could use whatever veggies you have on hand and I also think that you could get away with just using a bottle of creamy italian salad dressing.

Whatever you do, make this soon.

Amber's Delectable Delights

1 comment:

  1. I made this for a recent gathering and it was a HUGE hit! It's going to be a staple this year at our tailgates. Thanks, Shoe! :)