The last several days have been absolutely gorgeous here. Mid-60′s to low 70′s. Bright and sun-shiny with a little breeze. And not a single bug in sight. It has been so hard for me to focus on the task at hand. That task being packing an entire house and being ready to move in about 2 weeks. But I just can’t help it. It’s just so beautiful!!!
Of course, days like this only make me think of the hot summers and cold dishes of my past. And being Southern means that there is a whole lot of cold macaroni salad in my past. Although I have always loved the creamy texture of the pasta salads of years ago, I was always a little turned off by the super sweetness of it all. For some reason, I just don’t really like sweet pasta salad. I prefer the tang of citrus or vinegar over the gobs of sugar you find in the typical summer salad.
So, this pasta salad is something of a compromise. It’s got mayonnaise in it ( because I love mayo!) and a good hit of lemon, but I left the sugar out because I’m sweet enough. Just ask my husband. Right honey?
Anyway, this pasta salad will keep in the fridge for up to a week and goes great with just about anything, but especially barbecued pork, hamburgers, and grilled chicken.
16 oz. macaroni, cooked and rinsed
2/3 cup lite mayo
1/3 cup milk
juice of 2 lemons
2 stalks of celery, plus the celery leaves, finely chopped
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
2 large carrots, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 t. salt
1 t. black pepper
In a large bowl, whisk together mayo, lemon juice, 1 t. salt and milk.
Stir in chopped veggies and parsley and mix well.
Stir in cooked macaroni and toss until well coated.
Season with remaining salt and pepper and more lemon juice if needed. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until chilled. Serve and enjoy!
*Note* If the macaroni salad seems to dry out in the fridge, add in a splash or two of milk before serving.