Spicy Pasta Salad

Searching for a pasta salad I love…..still. I have liked a couple, but still no love. No “wow, I could crave this”, although I am happily getting past the cold pasta aversion. I still think it’s weird, but it doesn’t make me wonder what lunatic thought it was a good idea. I also no longer have to take a teeny bite of the first piece of pasta to get myself accustomed to the temperature and texture before I go ahead and eat. That’s even weirder in print than it is in my head.

I found a recipe on Pioneer Woman I thought I’d try. I changed it. I liked some elements of it, but sugar in the sauce? No, ma’am. I made faces when I tried it – so then I ramped up the spicy to cover the sweet. I realize the sweet is to balance the spicy but because I don’t use a whole lot of sugar any more, even one teaspoon was noticeable in a big way.

Ingredients: (this serves 12, so adjust down if you need to) I just made the whole works in a big mixing bowl and stowed the leftovers.

  • 4 cups uncooked pasta, cooked and cooled
  • ¾ cup red onion (or whatever onion you like)
  • ½ cup chopped olives, black was called for, I used green, stuffed with pimentos
  • 1/2 cup dill pickles, chopped
  • ½ cup spicy/sweet pickles – I used cowboy candy I made a couple years ago (sweet & spicy jalapenos)
  • ½ cup chopped bell pepper – you can use more, that was all I had

Sauce:

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 TB vinegar – whatever kind you prefer, I used white
  • recipe called for 3 tsp of sugar – I tried 2 and promptly added more vinegar and pickle juice
  • black pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 TB pickle juice – or to taste
  • 1 heaping TB of sour cream – I added this to help get rid of the sugar

This is really very simple. Cook the pasta according to package directions – you do not want mushy noodles, unless that’s really your thing, so keep an eye on them. Drain & run cold water on them until they are cooled off. You want to stop the cooking process fast. Drain very well and add to a big bowl.

Add in the onion, olives, pickles and peppers.

Mix the sauce – I mixed the sauce before I even started the pasta cooking to help the flavours blend – and add it in.

Mix the whole works really well and put in the fridge to sit for as long as you can let it. It is better the next day, if you can wait that long.

As a non pasta salad person – this was pretty good. Probably more my style because of the little kick of spice – also, feel free to add some hot sauce to your dressing. I think I liked it better than the pasta salad I made & posted previously, as did the two taste testers in my house.

You could skip the mayonnaise and use either yogurt or sour cream. Make sure the dressing is a little runnier than you think it should be – the pasta will absorb the liquid.

Next time, I’m going to add bang bang sauce and see what that tastes like. Seems like it might be pretty good.

Get all your servings of fruit and vegetables in one drink – https://www.goruvi.com/?ref=sheilawood

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