Is macaroni pasta or not?
Who doesn’t love a good pasta/macaroni salad and this one made an appearance at our annual fall craft circle potluck.
I love potlucks because it gives me a chance to try out some different recipes knowing that there will be a lot of ladies there and I won’t be bringing much home, if anything?
This recipe I saw over at Damn Delicious website. I love her recipes and they are always so beautiful. I’ve tried quite a few of them and posted some on this site. Sometimes I will mess with a recipe and sometimes I just leave it alone and maybe tweak it a little next time I make it.
DD used elbow macaroni and I was curious what the difference really is between macaroni and pasta. Well, what I found out – macaroni is a pasta made into tubes. Macaroni is pasta but not all pasta is macaroni. Make sense? (I won’t go into details but you can read this if interested.) Not sure. I also found that usually macaroni salads have a mayonnaise based dressing whereas pasta salads tend to have a oil based dressing. Who made that mayo/macaroni/pasta rule anyway? And, rules are made to be broken so what harm would it be to switch the recipes macaroni to a beautiful Trofie pasta. Trofie pasta is a short, thin, twisted pasta from Liquria, Italy. I didn’t go there to pick mine up of course but bought it in a specialty store in Hot Springs last spring and it has been begging to be cooked so this was the perfect opportunity to do so.
Just happened to have some red bell pepper in my refrigerator and since my thyme (in her recipe) had dried up while we were gone this summer I decided to put in some cilantro and add in a little red bell pepper and I always like to add a little cayenne pepper to this kind of salad. So only a few chances from the original recipe; oh, I also changed the lemon to lime because I love the flavor of lime, avocado and cilantro together.
Hope you will give this one a try and take a look at her site if you get a chance; you will enjoy her recipes.
I have a link for the pasta above. You can find it on Amazon.
Mix the dressing ingredients and refrigerate until ready to pour over salad.
Cook the pasta for about 10 minutes until al dente.
Put the bacon, cilantro, red bell pepper and avocado in the bowl with the cooked pasta and then add just enough dressing to coat salad.
- 12 oz. elbow pasta
- 5 slices bacon, diced
- 2 avocados, halved, seemed, peeled and dic ed
- 1 small red bell pepper, cut in 1/2" pieces
- 1/3 c. cup chopped cilantro
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, for garnish
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lime zest
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- dash of cayenne pepper, optional
- Make the dressing by combining the mayonnaise, lime juice, lime zest, sugar and thyme. Slowly whisk in the olive oil in a slow stream until it has emulsified; set this aside until remainder of salad is ready. (Add cayenne here if you want a little kick to the salad.)
- Bring a lot pot of water to a boil, salt and cook pasta according to package directions; drain.
- Cook the bacon pieces until brown and crispy about 6-8 minutes, drain on paper towels.
- In a large serving bowl, combine the pasta, bacon, avocado, red bell pepper and the dressing. Salt and pepper to taste and add the cilantro and gently toss. Garnish with a little more cilantro.
- To DD's original directions I changed the lemon to lime because I love the taste with the cilantro that I substitute for her thyme. I also add some red bell pepper because I had it and thought the color would be good in this salad.
- I always run my avocado under cold water before adding to any recipe because it helps slow down the browning of the avocado.