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Potluck Macaroni Salad

A great addition to any potluck dinner!

Have you ever wonder why there are so many differ shapes of pasta?

Well, I have always wondered that because growing up I knew macaroni and spaghetti and I think that is about it. We never had homemade noodles; we had homemade dumplings.

In case you are still wondering about the pastas, maybe it all started in Italy and homemakers got tired of the same old spaghetti day in and day out and they started experimenting with different pastas. OR, maybe the different pasta shapes serve a different purpose.

There are small pastas like orzo which looks like rice but cooks very quickly in just a few minutes and fit perfect in spoons for small bites. There are hallow pastas that work great for thick sauces to get into the crevices. There are pasta shells like manicotti or shell pasta shapes that one can fill with wonderful savory fillings. There are pastas shaped like little ears and even sombreros (I call those Pinocchio hats). There are thin noodles like angel hair pasta that are so delicate for light sauces and then there are thick noodles like linguine or lasagna that can stand up to just about any kind of sauce. Take something like ziti and penne and the difference is the cut end and how it affects how much sauce gets inside the pasta.

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