Let it be known that neither of us is a real fan of pasta salad. Which is why we both found ourselves happily surprised when we tried our sister-in-law's version during our annual visit to New Jersey. M.'s colorful rainbow mix of fresh vegetables coupled with a slightly sweetened mayonnaise made this a perfect pasta salad, one we enjoyed enough to make for a potluck the very next weekend. It's fresh, it's easy, and it feeds a crowd.
Feel free to change your pasta shape - M. uses ditalini, but we prefer the classic elbows.
M.'s Perfect Pasta Salad
(serves 10-12 as a side dish)
1 pound pasta
1 red pepper, cleaned and diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
1 yellow pepper, cleaned and diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 red onion, diced
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/4 to 1/2 cup mayonnaise, to taste
1-2 tablespoons granulated sugar, to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Boil water and prepare pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside to cool. Mix all vegetables (peppers, carrots, celery, onions) and parsley together in a large bowl, then add cooled pasta. Fold in mayonnaise and sugar, then season with salt and pepper to taste.