Sunday, June 7, 2009

Shell Pasta Salad with Cheese and Peas

I am always looking for new pasta salad recipes, so when I came across this recipe from Pillsbury, I thought it would be a good side dish for a recent family get-together. I changed some of the ingredients from the original recipe, but for the most part, it is pretty similar. Overall, I think this is a good dish for a gathering or picnic. The sweet peas balance out the saltiness of the chunks of cheese, and the addition of honey mustard is a nice twist to a traditional mayonnaise based pasta salad.

Shell Pasta Salad with Peas and Cheese

serves 8-10

For the Salad:
  • 8 oz. (2 cup) uncooked small shell pasta
  • 1 cup frozen sweet peas
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots
  • 6 oz. sharp Cheddar cheese, cubed (1 1/2 cups)
For the Dressing:
  • 2/3 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sweet honey mustard
  • 3/4 to 1 teaspoon salt (depending on your seasoning preference)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley.
  • Cook pasta in a post of boiling salted water to al dente as directed on the package, adding peas during last 3 minutes of cooking time. Drain and rinse with cool water. (Usually I do not like to rinse my pasta, but it does get rather sticky when it cools if you do not rinse it.)
  • In medium bowl, combine cooked pasta and peas, and all remaining salad ingredients.
  • In small bowl, combine all dressing ingredients; blend well. Add to salad and toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with parsley. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes to blend flavors.

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