September 27, 2016

Pasta Salad

Pre-made dried pasta. Imported from Italy, for Reasons.
The first US presidential debate just happened. It was a stark reminder that we, as a nation, are rapidly approaching that important time when Baseball, Football, and Hockey are all happening at the same time. We're gonna need snacks. And since I've already posted some recipes for a whole bunch of different dips, as well as an awesome potato salad recipe, it's time to delve into the world of pasta salad. And let's be clear: there are a lot of different kinds of pasta salad, but when it comes to randomly eating while watching sports, I go with a basic pasta salad. Some people differentiate this kind of salad by calling it "macaroni salad," but I'm not about to limit myself to one kind of pasta to use. I'm not ready for that kind of a long-term commitment.

Ingredients:

1 lb. Pasta (I prefer a rotini or fusilli, but any smallish pasta shape will do. Follow your heart! By which I mean "use whatever you have lying around.")
8 oz. shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1 Bell Pepper
1 Red Onion
1 TBSP Sour Cream
1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
Salt

One of the things I like about this recipe is how simple it is. You could pretty much make it while you're watching the game. So I guess the first thing you'll need to do is make some friends who like watching sports. After you accomplish that, and then somehow convinced these people to come over to your gross home, it's time to make some pasta. Pretty much every pre-made pasta ever has directions on it, and following those is a good way to go. But if you can't be bothered to because you're busy, lazy, or already threw out the container, boil up some water. Add in a large pinch of salt, and then your pasta. Stir it, and then boil it for about 10 minutes or so. The party line is that you want your pasta to be "al dente," which translates to "to the tooth" and means the pasta is cooked but still firm, offering resistance when chewed. Why this is supposed to be implied by "to the tooth" is one of the great mysteries of culinary history, along with the correct pronunciation of worcestershire, and who really killed Chef Boyardee. Once your pasta is sufficiently toothy, drain it and toss it in a bowl.

could have used a green pepper so it wouldn't be the same
dumb color as the cheese. But orange peppers were on sale. 
If you planned ahead, you used the 10 minutes your pasta was cooking to dice your vegetables and to mix together your dressing. But you were watching 30 seconds of football, interspersed between ads for beer and Cialis, so let's do it not. Dice up your pepper and onion, and throw them in with your pasta. Then mix together your mayo, sour cream, and vinegar, and add it in the bowl as well. Toss the whole thing together until it's well coated. And...that's pretty much it. Like I said, simple. Throw it in the fridge so that all the flavors have a chance to get to know each other, hit it off, get married, have little flavor babies, get divorced, and die alone in Utah. At least an hour. Or, as it's known in the NFL, 10 minutes of gameplay. Enjoy!