This is the pasta salad I made for a church cookout this weekend. It was a big hit. I got the recipe from last month's Food Network Magazine. It was an article about "Mix and Match Pasta Salad." You choose whatever kind of pasta, proteins, veggies, mix-ins, and dressing you like and it tells you how much of each to use. Here's how I made mine.
½ lb. medium shells pasta
1 cup matchstick carrots
1 cup frozen peas
1 green onion, sliced
½ cup bacon, cooked and crumbled
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup sour cream
1 clove garlic, grated
½ cup Parmesan, freshly grated
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cold water. Transfer to a large bowl.
Meanwhile, blanch carrots and peas by steaming or boiling until crisp-tender, then drain and cool in cold water.
Add carrots and peas to pasta. Throw in the green onion and bacon.
Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic, and Parmesan. Pour over the pasta mixture and toss. Chill before serving.
Makes 4 servings.
The magazine didn't say how many servings it makes. But on my box of pasta, it says 1 lb. serves 8, so 4 is my best guess. I quadrupled the recipe for the church cookout. I used the microwave to blanch the carrots and peas. I use The Pampered Chef's microcooker, but if you don't have one of those, put the veggies in a bowl, add water, and cover with plastic wrap. Cook the peas and the carrots seperately. The peas will only take about 2 minutes, while the carrots can take up to 5 minutes, depending on how thick your matchsticks are. Be careful not to overcook the peas. The reason they are in there is because I love how sweet they are when they pop when you bite into them.
I know some people like their pasta salad a little creamier than this. If that's you, multiply the dressing ingredients by one and half.
This is a really easy recipe that will taste really good at all of those Fourth of July cookouts you're invited to!