I love pasta: any type with any kind of delicious sauce please. During the holidays, there’s a particular kind of side dish we Puerto Ricans cannot get enough of. You know what? Let me actually make the previous statement a little clearer, Puerto Ricans eat this pasta throughout the whole friggin’ year. But, during the holidays it’s a must. My variation does not use the “Coditos” or macaroni type of pasta. Not because I don’t like it that way, I just didn’t have macaronis! And this blog is all about working with what you’ve got on-hand.
2 C of Macaroni or Penne pasta
1/4 C of diced cooked ham
1 C of mayonnaise
1 small shredded carrot
1 Red Bell Pepper ( preferably the Goya kind) or Pimiento Morrón
Dash of Onion and garlic powder
1 small yellow onion (chopped)
1. Boil your choice of pasta until it’s cooked yet firm, I think fancy chefs call this “Al dente”. You want that, an al dente pasta. It took my Penne noodles about 12 minutes to become fancy.
2. In another bowl while your pasta is in its boiling bubble bath, mix in your shredded carrots, mayonnaise, ham, chopped red bell pepper, chopped onion, garlic, and onion powder. Let the ingredients sit together, you know? Let them get to know each other.
3. Once your pasta is done, drain the liquid and wait for them to cool. As soon as the pasta is cool and ready to join the party, dump the mayonnaise mixture in and fold. After this step, I like to place the pasta salad in the fridge for about an hour or two, but it can be eaten as is.