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Macaroni Salad. Today I’m going to show you how to prepare a macaroni salad that is filled with flavour, contains easy to find ingredients and a super delicious dressing.
In the past, pasta salads have always been finished off with some type of vinaigrette, normally using tarragon vinegar that gives any salad a great flavour. But in this recipe instead of using a vinaigrette, this time I chosed a creamier dressing, even though it only contains four ingredients (mayonnaise, mustard, salt and black pepper) it gives a powerful flavour and has the advantage that when added to the pasta salad, the salad has a nice creamy outcome.
The best thing about using this kind of dressing is that it’s not only great in summer but throughout the whole year. Vinaigrettes always give a cooler sensation and in winter they don´t make a pasta salad as appetizing. However this dressing is a lot more versatile, if it’s summer you can put the salad in the fridge for it to be a cold salad, or if it isn’t too hot, then you can skip this step and enjoy your salad as it is, enjoying it throughout the whole year.
Don’t forgot to take into account that you are using mayonnaise (I use Hellmans) and you have to use it in moderation, making your salad healthier and not pushing your calory count up too high!
In this recipe I have added the minimum amount that you need so that all the pasta pieces get covered with dressing, and to my liking it doesn’t need anything else added. With these quantities you achieve lots of flavour and a certain control of your calories. But feel free to add more dressing if you feel the need to.
I sometimes add a little bit of onion to give the salad a crunch, but here I have used gherkins, which give more flavour, also have a crunch and combine very well with the dressing used. If you aren’t that keen on gherkins, then you could always try adding a few pitted olives 😉
To make this salad you can use any type of pasta, I used the classic macaroni, which is spiral shaped, scoops up all the dressing, and the chopped ingredients end up perfectly trapped between their spirals. Although, you can use other types such as bow tie, ditalini, fusilli, tri colour pasta or even filled pasta like tortellinis, or be original and use spaghetti. The world is filled with different tastes so it’s your choice which one to use.
Bear in mind though, that which ever type of pasta you decide to use, remember that once cooked pasta for a salad, you can and should rinse it in cold water, that way you stop it from cooking more and ending up soft and over cooked.
You can also change any of the ingredients that I’ve used for other ones of your choice if you prefer, for example I like a pasta salad made with tuna and egg, but you could change the tuna for smoked salmon. Change boliled egg for quails eggs, they look really pretty on the plate too, or try adding a little chopped lettuce or rocket, giving it a vegetal theme. However you decide to make it, I’m sure it will turn out super delicious!!!
One last thing, this summer I’ve been trying, tasting and cooking lots of recipes, and now the children are back at school and everything is starting to get back to normal I’m hoping to publish more recipes. But I’d like to know what kind of recipes you’d like to see. Do you want more recipes similar to this one, like a pasta salad with chicken, or a salad made with Italian pasta? Or maybe now that summer is over you’d like to see some of my best Spanish recipes?
Leave me a comment letting me know what you’d like me to publish and …. Lets get cooking!!!
HOW TO MAKE MACARONI SALAD
- 200 gr pasta (shorter is better)
- 2 tins of tuna in olive oil (each tin 60gr drained)
- 2 boiled eggs
- 5 small gherkins
- 1 can red peppers (morron or piquillo)
For the macaroni salad dressing
- 5 large spoons of mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon of mustard (soft)
- ground black pepperfine salt
- Heat water in a pan (a litre per 100gr of pasta) once boiling add the macaroni and a teaspoon of salt. Cook until tender, drain, and cool under the cold tap, leave to drain well.
- While the macaroni is cooking, slice the peppers into thin strips and then into small squares.
- Slice the gherkins.
- Cut an egg into quarters, length ways, chop the second egg into small pieces.
- Prepare the dressing, in a bowl mix the mayonnaise and mustard. Add a pinch of salt and a black pepper. Mix well. If you think it needs a little more salt, add to taste.
- Once the macarroni is cooked, rinse under cold water and drain well, place in a large bowl, add the dressing. Stir.
- Add the chopped boiled egg, tuna, half of the gherkins and half of the peppers. Stir.
- Place the salad onto a serving plate, dish or bowl. Top with the remaining peppers and finish by placing the quarted egg prepared earlier.
- If you want to serve it cool then cover with cling film and store in the fridge until serving. And that’s that….. Let’s eat!