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Light and slightly tangy pasta salad, with just enough creamy dressing to coat the noodles and vegetables, this is one heck of an awesome pasta salad. Perfect on it's own for a light meal or as a side dish for all the summer potlucks and barbecues. This is better than any deli salad you can buy at the store!
A couple summers ago, I visited my aunt and uncle and was fortunate enough to arrive around dinnertime. (My aunt is a fabulous cook, so I tend to time it that way. You know, accidentally on purpose?) Her pasta salad was so simple, and so delicious, I had to recreate it for my family as soon as I got back home. Thanks once again for the inspiration, Aunt Judy!
Cooking the broccoli just long enough to brighten the color and soften the crunch gives this salad a little something extra. I've been making this salad for a couple years now and it's still a favorite. I made it again last weekend for the video and I've been very happily lunching on it all week.
COOK'S NOTE: If you forget to toss the broccoli in the boiling water at the end of the pasta's cooking time, you can also steam it in the microwave. Place the broccoli in a glass bowl along with a tablespoon of water. Microwave for 60-90 seconds, until the broccoli is bright green and barely softened.
Creamy Summer Pasta Salad
Yield: 6 servings
8 ounces salad macaroni or ditalini pasta
1 cup tiny broccoli florets
1/2 cup diced cucumber
1/2 cup finely diced red pepper
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1/4 cup very thinly sliced green onion
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons white wine or plain vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, adjust to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package, adding a generous tablespoon or so of kosher salt to the water as it cooks. Just before the noodles are done cooking, add the broccoli to the pot. Let the broccoli boil for about 30 seconds and then drain everything into a large colander. Rinse well with cold water.
Stir together the mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, pepper, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the cooked pasta and broccoli to the bowl and stir well to coat. Add the cucumber, pepper, and onions and stir again. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Stir again just before serving. Enjoy!
Here are some more pasta salads you might like:
Pesto Pasta Salad by Center Cut Cook
Hawaiian Pasta Salad by Cook Crave Inspire
Greek Pasta Salad by Dinners Dishes and Desserts
Thai Chicken Pasta Salad by I Wash You Dry
Tuna Pasta Salad by Reluctant Entertainer
Antipasto Tortellini Salad by The Slow Roasted Italian