Must be the hot weekend, ‘cause I’ve have a bad case of macaroni salad craving lately. I don’t recollect eating macaroni salad as a kid…maybe I did but I just don’t remember. Then sometime in my early 20’s, I was going to a BBQ with a friend, and he enlisted me to help with a macaroni salad. We didn’t measure anything… it was just a little of this and a little of that, but it turned out to be an awesome creation. I continued to make it often over the years, adding my own touches; and now, after a lot of tweaking and practice, it comes out fairly consistently. I still love it as much as I did when I first learned how to make it (and still love making it). So, at the urging of my friends, I decided to write it all down and share it on the blog…here you go.
A couple of things make my ‘mac’ a little different. For one thing, I like to chop the ingredients a little on the big side. I like to see all the big chunks of onions, pickles and other ingredients. It also makes each bite taste a little different. Another thing I don’t do that you see all the time is use a ton of dressing (I find it hard to eat the overly-dressed soggy stuff you find all too much of). The pasta soaks up a lot of dressing, but unlike some, I don’t keep adding more. I want to be able to taste every component of the salad. I doubt if anyone who makes this can possibly make it the same way. Everyone wants to add their favorite kind of pickles, pasta or olives, or even include a few other surprises. You can follow this recipe and duplicate “Tim’s Macaroni Salad” or you can make changes as you see fit and put you own name on it. So without further ado, let’s get busy.
- 16 ounces uncooked salad macaroni (ditalini)
- 6 hard- boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
- ¾ cup chopped red onion (more or less depending on how sweet they are)
- 3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
- ½ cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
- ¾ cup sweet pickles, chopped (sorry, pickle relish not allowed)
- 1 cup ‘Best Foods’ mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 3 teaspoons apple cider or red wine vinegar (either is good)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- Boil the pasta according to the directions on the package until tender (al dente). When it is done, strain and rinse in cold water (this is the only time you should ever rinse pasta). Drain well, and add to a large mixing bowl. Add all the chopped ingredients and toss. Next, mix all the dressing ingredients together in a separate bowl and add to the mixing bowl (or you can do what I usually do and just add it all to the bowl). Mix it all together. Taste and adjust the seasoning to suit yourself. You can eat it right away, or you can cover and refrigerate if you are planning on enjoying it later. The pasta will soak up the dressing, so it will be a little different after sitting, but just as good if not better.
This is a fun salad to make and everyone seems to like it. I have made lots of variations on this salad over the years and I am sure you will too. Feel free to change it all you like and rename it after you.