Italian Macaroni Salad!

If you’ve been a Diamond for quite some time now you know how much I love cold salads, and more than anything.. how much I love to put a special twist on a classic dish that has been around for longer than I could remember! As I mentioned in my sheet pan nacho post last Sunday, I’m going to be posting every Sunday until the day of the Super Bowl to give all of you very delicious ideas that you may not normally think of to enjoy while you watch the big game! When I thought of this idea I actually researched it to see if any version of it was ever even done before, but it hadn’t been at all, so I knew I needed to bless my Diamonds with an Italian spin on one of my all time favorite side dishes to ever exist!! I know most of the time when we think of macaroni we think of enjoying it with barbecue, or serving it at cook outs next to all kinds of yummy food that just came straight off the hot grill, but that definitely isn’t the case with this recipe. I’ve learned that even if you’re craving something that you normally eat in the warmer months of the year, doing a different rendition of that same dish can change the whole feel of it! Your favorite summer salad can magically become a cheesy, sauce infused wonder that you can serve next to all the hot & spicy things you’ll be digging into. That way you can have something wonderfully creamy to cool your mouth off with!

While you create the creamy dreamy sauce that we’re going to mix everything around, boil one pound of elbow pasta until al dente (to the tooth).

Recipe for this scrumptious sauce:

  • 2 cups of mayonnaise
  • 1 cup of ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup of good marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1/3 cup of parmesan cheese
  • 1 stalk of celery chopped
  • A handful of kalamata olives
  • A 1/4 of a small diced red onion
  • Salt & pepper, garlic powder, dried parsley, and dried oregano to taste. If you have fresh herbs on hand you could also use that, but just be careful if you are using fresh oregano because it tends to be quite potent!

When the elbow noodles are done just right.. shake off the excess water after rinsing and pour them over the Italian sauce mixture. On top of the pasta you can sprinkle extra parmesan cheese with salt & pepper for an extra zap of flavor!

I wanted to add a really nice bite of savoriness, so I decided that dicing some salami and frying it up until it got extremely crispy like bacon would be an incredible touch! You can also use pepperoni if you would like, but I wanted to do something really different.

After mixing the macaroni all together, all that’s left to do is top everything off with the crispy salami and you’ll have yourself your new favorite macaroni salad for every single one of your game days, parties, and even to serve with chicken parmesan instead of that boring spaghetti you’re used to! That would be an awesome hot & cold combination!

When you present this salad to your family/guests you can serve some hot marinara sauce on the side with some extra fried salami, and parmesan cheese to top it off with. This salad is literally so good and something you were missing your entire life, but didn’t even know it! There are so many recipes for Italian pasta salad with fusilli pasta with oil & vinegar, so why not make it creamy?! It’s the best way to go! 😉



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