A chilled pasta salad is perfect for summer picnics and BBQ’s.
Pasta salads are one of the most popular summer side dishes. Easy to make ahead and they tend to pack well. Summer composed salads such as this are a natural accompaniment to grilled entrees. They’re an especially perfect pairing of hand-held favorites such as hamburgers, hot dogs, Italian sausage, brats, pulled pork, brisket, grilled vegetable, or portabella mushroom cap sandwiches.
With components such as cooked pasta, garden vegetables, dressings, sauces, fresh citrus juices, fruity olive oil, potatoes, cheeses, fresh herbs, and pickles etc. — the possibilities and combinations are infinite for a personalized creation! We hope you enjoy one of my all-time favorites!
Here’s one of my Mother’s (Kathi Baumann) “go to” chilled pasta salads for any/all spring and summer-grilling menus! Whimsical Ditalini-shaped pasta (also known as ‘tubettini’ or ‘salad pasta’) with the perfect balance of crunch, creaminess, and sweetness with hints of mild dry dill begs for seconds (maybe even thirds, 😉).
- 1lb. box of dry ditalini pasta
- 1/2 cup celery, small dice
- 1/4 cup sweet onion, small dice
- 1/4 cup diced sweet gherkins
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon dried or fresh dill
- 6 oz cheddar, small cubes
- 1 tablespoon sweet pickle brine
- 2 1/2 – 3 cups Duke’s mayonnaise
- Ground pepper and salt to taste
Adjust quantities of any of the ingredients to suit your preferences. Enjoy!
- The pasta
Bring water to boil in large stock pot, cook the pasta until al denté
- Drain and cool
Drain thoroughly and cool (spread on a sheet pan for quickest cool down)
- The dressing
While pasta cools, chop/measure then mix together all of the ingredients in a separate, large mixing bowl large enough to hold pasta once added.
- The salad
Add cooled pasta to the dressing. Mix together thoroughly to coat the pasta evenly with the dressing. Add more mayo if preferred .
Let pasta salad sit at room temp for about 15-20 min to allow flavors to be absorbed by pasta. Season with ground pepper and kosher salt to taste.
Serve “as is” or chill in smaller containers for later use and or a quick spoonful snack.