Okay, so I am going to preface this blogpost with this,
If you have followed me and cooked/baked from my recipes,
chances are you might have made
Seriously, folks, this woman knows her stuff.
A couple of weeks ago my family attended the graduation party of my friend, Tonja’s son.
My kids were each on their second helping of this pasta salad and “mmmming” with every bite.
When I asked Tonja what was in it, she giggled and told me the two “secret ingredients” that I will share with you in a second.
She then told me that her Mom had made it, but that it was Grandma Davis’ recipe.
I was sold.
So, I decided to whip it up for our Memorial Day cookout.
Please don’t let the main secret ingredient detour you from making this wonderful salad!! It is SO GOOD!!
Here are the two things that her family claims makes this salad what it is:
Spam and Dill Pickle Juice!
Tonja told me that her Grandma uses her own homemade pickle juice, but that the pickle juice doesn’t change the flavor as much as leaving out the Spam. She has tried it with ham and it “just isn’t the same.”
I ate Spam as a kid, but in my 20+ years of married life I don’t ever remember buying it?
This salad is AH-Mazing! You just have to try it!
and nephews fought over the leftovers.
my plate from the cookout…SWOON!
When I called Tonja for the recipe she said “there isn’t one, mix it up til it tastes right.”
I had only eaten it once, so that made things a little tough.
She hung on the phone with me, like the good old days, and we worked through it to develop this recipe to share with you!
Below is the “recipe” we came up with!
Grandma Davis’ Pasta Salad
15 ounces of mayonnaise, (Hellmans is her first choice, I used the light)
1/4 cup dill pickle juice
milk to thin sauce (optional, I didn’t use it)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 ounces (more if you like) frozen peas
1 cucumber, diced (I left skins on mine)
red onion, chopped, to taste
2-3 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 can Spam, diced
cubed American cheese (optional, I didn’t use it)
1 package of small elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
Boil pasta, drain and set aside. Combine ingredients for the sauce. I didn’t feel like I needed the milk in mine, I liked the creamy texture of the mayo and pickle juice, set this aside.
Chop all of the veggies and Spam, cheese if you desire.
Toss pasta and chopped ingredients in a large bowl, cover with sauce, and coat.
I made this a day early, the flavors had a chance to marry together nicely that way!
It was a BIG Hit!!
If you make this recipe, I’d love to know! Snap a picture, share the photo on social media with the hashtag #AnAffairFromTheHeart – I’d love to see what you made! – Michaela