This is a childhood favorite, and I recently found out it was a recipe from my mom’s childhood best friend’s mother (got that?).  It’s something my mom always made, and to me it expresses summertime.

Whenever I make this pasta salad, my husband refuses to eat it, as it has mayo in it, and he hates mayo. Normally I do too, except for in a few choice dishes. When we came home from the grocery store and were putting things away, he went to put the pickles in the fridge, and I told him to keep them out, as I needed them for the pasta salad…well that got a gross and a face. Like I said in the title, just don’t think about it, eat it. That’s the only way a picky eater like myself can stand to eat things that are really bizarre combinations.

While my husband refused to eat it, my sister in law and her husband loved it, although she thought my bowl deserved to be on the short bus, since it wasn’t round. I happen to like the rustic look!

Mayo (I use miracle whip, which I thought might be vegan, but nope, still egg in it)
Catalina salad dressing
1 lb. elbows
Celery
Green olives
Pickles
Cheese (I use cheddar, but back in the day my mom used velveeta, shudder)

Really you can use anything you want, but this was what my mom always put into the pasta salad.

Boil water and cook elbows according to instructions on box. Drain and rinse off with cool water, and put in the fridge until ready to use.

Now making the dressing is kind of hard to describe. Basically you combine mayo and Catalina salad dressing until it is a light orange/salmonish color. There is no exact science, you just want it to be that color and more liquid than mayo is on its own. When dressing the salad, it’s better to go with less and then add more, you don’t want to drown your pasta in dressing, just give it a nice coating.

Chop up your veggies and additions, and add them to the pasta. Combine with the dressing, and enjoy!

I chose the picture above not because it was the best photo taken (I promise there is pasta in there somewhere), but because of the cat in the left hand side of the photo. That’s Princess, and he (yes he) LOVES food. He was begging from the beginning, when I was chopping celery (which he doesn’t eat), all the way to the cheese (which he loves). I have no doubt he will make many appearances in my cooking photos.

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