I was expecting this to be a basic, average pasta salad. I chose it because the mayonnaise was cut with sour cream, which I appreciate in any mayonnaise-based salad. I figured I'd "doctor it up." But it turned out surprisingly better than I expected, and I can only think it was because of the hot sauce! Hubs' sensitive innards can't tolerate really HOT hot sauce, but there is one we buy on Beale Street in Memphis that we both love and he tolerates well. I believe it made all the difference in the dressing - that, and the mustard. I didn't add the ham, as I knew Hubs would prefer it in a sandwich, but some cooked, crumbled bacon made a fine and flavorful substitute. I used cubed Cheddar rather than shredded Swiss and liked the color it provided. I only used half the amount of paprika called for and that was a good choice for me. I liked the little bit of warmth in color it gave the salad, but I didn't want to taste it! Finally, so many different-shaped pastas would be appropriate for this, and since I didn't have small seashells I used orecchiette (translates to "little ears"). Oh...I didn't bother with the last part of the directions, pouring only 3/4 of the dressing over the pasta, etc. I just mixed it all in at once. If it dries out a little it will be no problem to moisten it with a little half-and-half or milk.
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I was expecting this to be a basic, average pasta salad. I chose it because the mayonnaise...