If you want nothing more than heavy, mayo-laden pasta, the ubiquitous deli macaroni salad is for you. This recipe, however, takes the standard and gives it a depth and tang that makes it stand out in a crowd.
Why this recipe works:
- Boiling the pasta until very tender allows it to absorb the vinegar and dressing better; it firms up once cold so won't taste overcooked.
- Sour cream, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire, and hot sauce give this dressing more depth than the standard macaroni salad.
- Celery, shallots, and scallions give a crunchy texture.
- For the Dressing:
- 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce, preferably Texas Pete
- 3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- For the Salad:
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 rib celery, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
- 4 scallions, finely sliced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the dressing: Whisk together all ingredients in a medium bowl. Set aside.
For the Salad: In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta until very tender, about 15 minutes. Drain pasta and transfer to a large bowl. Add vinegar and stir until completely absorbed. Let pasta stand until cool, about 10 minutes.
Add dressing and stir until well coated. Stir in celery, shallots, and scallions. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving.