Wednesday, October 01, 2014 8:19 AM
EASY LUNCHTIME PASTA
Recreating a favorite restaurant dish
By Lisa Boykin Batts Times Life Editor
Anna and I went to Ruby Tuesday for lunch several weeks back. It was a very hot day, and we both wanted their very cold salad!
Specifically, Anna wanted the creamy pasta salad with ham and green peas.
We enjoyed our lunch, and several times since then Anna has mentioned that salad and how we should try to make it.
I finally got around to it Sunday afternoon.
I knew it wouldn’t be hard to find a copycat recipe for that salad, and I was right. There are many versions online and most have the same ingredients: rotini pasta, an equal amount of mayonnaise and ranch dressing, diced ham, green peas and seasoned salt. Some recipes also include sour cream and cheddar cheese.
I chose the basic recipe and used low-fat mayonnaise and green peppers. I also bought some seasoned salt. It’s not something I keep in my cabinet, but I decided to buy it for this salad.
This is certainly an easy salad to make. No complicated ingredients, no fancy instructions. Just boil the pasta, cut the ham and peppers and mix it together.
I do think it’s important to make the salad at least several hours in advance of your meal time because it is better cold.
This salad is very good. I especially love the crunch of the green peppers and the flavor of the creamy dressing. My husband and I enjoyed it for lunch yesterday, so did Anna, who prefers her pasta without the ham. Reggie and I like the ham and ate her share as well!
Next time I make it, I will increase the peas (at Anna’s request) from 1 cup to probably 11/2 cups.
Pasta Salad with Ham and Green Peas
1 lb. box rotini pasta, cooked and drained
3/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
3/4 cup ranch dressing (reduced fat is fine)
1 1/2 cups green peas, thawed (not cooked)
1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
1 to 1 1/2 cup chopped ham
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
Cook pasta and drain.
In a large mixing bowl combine mayonnaise and dressing. With a spoon, mix in remaining ingredients and stir in pasta.
Chill before serving.
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