The Only Macaroni ...
Macaroni Cheese...comforting, warming and utterly satisfying. But in the summer months, of alfresco dining, BBQ’s, long days and hot nights, do you really want to be serving up a bowl of steaming pasta? Move over Macaroni Cheese and welcome, the best Macaroni Salad you’re going to eat, ever!
This bowl of flavor, can be enjoyed perfectly well on it’s own as it has so much to give: Salty bacon, creamy mustard, herbs, garlic and some refreshing crunch from a variety of vegetables. However, this recipe would also be a great addition to a table of other ingredients, part of a party buffet or a family BBQ? How about making it to take along to a dinner or lunch invite at a friend’s? It may just make you even more popular!
But what is it about macaroni that makes it such a comfort to us? Little mini, tubes of pasta; what’s the big deal? What makes Macaroni such a welcome guest at a social get-together? The smile maker, Macaroni!
Many of us are drawn to foods we were fed in our childhood. It reminds our subconscious minds of carefree days, where you played in the back garden all day, had no bills to pay and you only had to worry about making sure your hands were clean for dinner! Pasta was the food for many of us. Cheap, quick, readily available across the world and the food of the family! A macaroni salad provides such a cozy, well being for so many of us!
Macaroni is the perfect vessel for a sauce, whether that would be a tomato based one, or the traditional creamy, cheese one. Those tiny little tubes can hold quite a lot of any sauce, clinging inside and out and holding its shape well. Macaroni has the texture of a light, chewy softness that children and adults adore! The decision to create the best Macaroni Salad EVER seems a good choice for the summer months.
So, how can you decide the perfect sauce for a Macaroni Salad? It has to be something creamy, surely? A perfect mix of garlic, mayonnaise and sour cream with a dash of yellow mustard clings well to these little tubes. You need to make sure you get the perfect balance though. It’s a crime to provide too little sauce on a Macaroni Salad, leaving it looking dry and little crusty. It needs to ooze sauce around the other ingredients too and glisten on the party table, requiring any passing food hunter to have no option but to dig in!
The crispy bacon pieces were a must in this recipe. A good sprinkling of salty goodness, adds another layer of texture to the macaroni. Choose a high quality one that remains good and chunky in the pan though, instead of frying away a cheap one to watery thin pieces.
The vegetable choice was easy. Sweet green bell pepper, adding a crunch and freshness. The spring onion adds a little light heat and a bit more crunch. Lightly steamed baby corn and broccoli adds some further sweetness and texture to the dish and the perfect choice for being a good all rounder…who doesn’t like those vegetables?
The recipe then? You’re going to want to make this up quite fresh. Of course, eat it the next day, but maybe increase the sauce ingredients slightly as the macaroni does like to thicken overnight. This will ensure the Macaroni Salad Police won’t come and arrest you for failing to provide adequate sauce! Better still, don’t hold back and tuck in straight away.
- Cook the macaroni in a large pan of boiling water for about 8-10 minutes. Don’t over cook as it will become mushy and a macaroni salad needs the pasta to be a little al dente!
- Heat the oil in a skillet and fry the bacon pieces until crisp and then drain.
- Chop the baby corn in to slices and cut the broccoli in to small, even sized florets. Lightly steam these whilst you wait for the pasta to cook, and place to one side.
- For the sauce, mix the mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic and mustard together until well combined.
- Chop the pepper and spring onions and add to the cooled baby corn and broccoli.
- When the macaroni is cooked, drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking. In a large bowl add all of the ingredients and stir gently until well combined. Reserve a few extra herbs and some of the crispy bacon pieces to sprinkle over the top if you like.
- Serve in a bowl with a big spoon!