Summer is finally starting to wind down! Finally. I don’t know about you, but it’s been as hot as Hellfire Peninsula in Stormwind lately. So of course, when you get out of the hot sun after working all day, you don’t want a hot meal. No no, you need something to help you cool down. That’s why I love a good, cold pasta salad.
So here’s the tea. In Gadgetzan they sell these box kits that have the sauce packet and some pasta and some freeze-dried ‘veggies’ and Vyn used to buy it a lot cuz it was easy to put together and it kept well. It has a bit of nostalgia for me, so I was making it one day and thought “Oh let me add poultry. Oh let me throw in some more peas. Oh let me add onions or olives, or bacon.” Then half way through I realized. “Hang on, literally the only thing I haven’t replaced is the noodles themselves.”
It kind of became that old paradox, if you keep replacing parts on a boat, when does it stop being the same boat? Soooo — this is my tastier from scratch version. Is it worth the extra effort? FEL yes. Also it makes twice as much, and it is hearty so that’s also a bonus.
So! What do we have here? Well, we have about two cups noodles (16 oz or 450g), though pictured is only 1 cup. Use whatever noodles you want, personally I would have preferred shells or something that can hold the sauce, but I had elbow noodles. You also want either one small Pandaren carrot or two medium carrots, about half of a bunch of spring onions, a can of olives, sliced, about a cup of frozen peas (leave them frozen), and a big big handful of cherry tomatoes. You’ll also need about two chicken breasts and half of a pound of bacon. And for good measure, a packet of Stormsong Valley Ranch mix with either mayo or sour cream to mix with. Either works.
Cut your bacon nice and small, I use butcher bacon (weirdly, it’s cheaper than the prepackaged stuff at my local grocer and way better quality), cut it in half lengthwise, then cut it small like pictured. Fry that up and save the grease, we’re going to use that for the poultry.
Do the same with the chicken. Cut them into small cubes, then fry in that bacon grease. You can also bake or boil and shred the chicken, that’s a very tasty way too. I just don’t like wasting bacon grease. Remember, cooking is ART, style it to make it how YOU want it.
While the chicken is cooking, take your packet of Stormsong Valley Ranch and mix it up. You want about 8oz (225g) of sour cream or mayo. Sour cream gives it a nice tang, I personally enjoy that a lot.
Mix it up nice and smooth. Then get your veggies ready. Shred your carrots (or if you’re like me, use the food processor and forget to take off the chopping blade while shredding it), chop your spring onions (I use both whites and greens), cut your cherry tomatoes in half and slice your olives. Combine them all together in a bowl.
Add in the pasta, the meats and mix it all up. You want that sauce to coat everything. Throw in the frozen peas and then cover and put it into the ice box for about an hour, long enough for all the flavors to mingle.
Once it’s chilled, bone apple teeth!!!
Do you like to add your own flair to this? Let me know in the comments below what sort of things you would add or subtract. I’d love to hear from you!
- 1 packet Stormsong Valley Ranch (or equivalent)
- 1/2 lb (250g) bacon, diced
- 2 chicken breasts (~1 lb/ .5 kg)
- 1 cup (225 oz) sour cream or mayo. Or greek yogurt. Or a mix of all
- 1/2 bunch of spring onions
- 1 large carrot
- 1 cup frozen peas (don’t thaw)
- 1 can black olives, sliced
- About 8oz of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 16 oz (550g) of pasta of choice, cooked al dente
- Dice the bacon small, then fry up crispy. Reserve the fat
- Dice the chicken, then fry in the bacon fat. Alternatively, boil, or bake and shred to save calories.
- Mix ranch packet with sour cream (or alternate)
- Shred carrot, cut onions, olives and tomatoes
- Mix pasta, veggies (including frozen peas) and meats into the sauce packet
- Mix to coat
- Chill at least 1 hour