In a strange twist, we ended up enjoying this creamy pasta salad as our main dish on Easter Sunday this year. We had friends over for what was supposed to be a super casual dinner on the Saturday night…but ended up becoming a bit of a party. We all slept late on Sunday (turns out that dancing until 10pm will actually make my kids sleep past 5.30 in the morning…about the only thing!), and when we woke on Sunday, everyone was super relaxed. Subsequently, the thought of spending the day in the kitchen cooking up a big ham was not enticing at all and we decided on a picnic instead.
It was actually really lovely, and we enjoyed it so much that I think we will definitely be incorporating more of these little jaunts into our spring and summer weekends.
Every time I ask my husband what he wants to bring for a picnic, his first response is always creamy pasta salad. You know the type, the rich and creamy pasta glug/goodness that comes prepackaged in huge containers at costco. It is his ULTIMATE picnic food, and I used to be quite partial to it as well. I stopped buying it years ago though, so poor hubby always makes a bee-line for the big bowls of creamy pasta salad that you know will be at pretty much every BBQ over summer.
I finally decided to have a go at making him a homemade version. I wanted to make it taste as close to the store-bought version as possible, because otherwise whats the point, right? It worked out way better than I could have expected, and this will definitely be my go-to creamy pasta salad recipe for the entertaining months to come.
- 2 cups dry whole wheat rotini pasta the swirly pasta
- 1 1/2 cups greek yoghurt full fat
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp coconut sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/3 cup milk (less or more if needed)
- 3 tbsp pickle juice from sweet/spicy pickles to taste
- 1 red bell pepper finely chopped
- 1/3 oz can black olives finely chopped, 6 .
- 5 baby dill pickles diced
- 3 whole green onions sliced finely
Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain and rinse well under cold water, set aside and allow to cool completely
In a large bowl, whisk together the yoghurt, red wine vinegar, coconut, sugar, salt, and pepper until well combined. Add in the milk and pickle juice, until the mixture is pourable
To the yoghurt mixture, add in the chopped red peppers, olives, pickles and green onions. Taste and adjust according to your own likes (i.e. I always add more pickles)
Once the pasta has cooled completely, add it into the bowl with the other ingredients and stir well. Pop the salad into the fridge and allow to cool for about 2 hours before serving. The longer you leave it, the thicker and creamier the dressing will become
Make sure you allow to cool before serving, or it won't be creamy enough.