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Macaroni Salad

Sturdy macaroni salad bursting with flavor. Great for picnics and potlucks.

Ingredients

salad

  • 16 oz ditalini pasta (sometimes difficult to find; if so, use elbow macaroni or something similarily small and sturdy)
  • 1 cup celery (diced)
  • 1/2 cup red onion (diced)
  • 1/2 cup yellow sweet onion (diced)
  • 1 cup medium cheddar cheese (diced)
  • 1 cup Swiss cheese (diced)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 1 cup dill pickles (diced)
  • 1 cup salami (diced)

dressing

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • a few Small squirts cheap yellow mustard
  • splashhot pepper sauce
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1–2 teaspoon salt (to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons horseradish
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • dash cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried mustard

Directions

Salad
1. Boil macaroni until al dente, about 9 minutes (don't overcook or you'll have Macaroni Mush).
Rinse macaroni until cool and drain well. *
2. To pasta, gently fold in rest of salad ingredients (not salad dressing).
3. Refrigerate uncovered mixture overnight (not critical, but you want the mixture to be dry).
Dressing
4. Combine dressing ingredients.
Salad
5. Pour dressing over salad ingredients and mix well.
6. Chill for at least an hour, preferably longer, to allow flavors to mingle. Better if chilled overnight.

Note

* I read a tip somewhere to, after draining and cooling the pasta, add some milk to it and let it sit for a bit. The pasta will absorb the milk (I've always just dumped and never measured, and am surprised at how much soaks in). With the pasta somewhat saturated, the dressing is more likely to coat the pasta instead of being absorbed into it as much. It seems to make the salad taste more well-rounded, with no slightly metallic taste that is sometimes present in pasta salad as a result of the acidic ingredients being sucked into the cooked pasta in disproportionate amounts.