Looking for something different to serve as a side dish for our 4th of July barbeque, I came across recipes for Hawaiian Pasta Salad. That’s celebrating America, right? Considering I already had all the ingredients necessary to put this together, I gave it a try, altering ingredients and quantities here and there. The result was a fabulously surprising cascade of flavors, put into exactly those words by my quite amorous taste-tester hubby. If you can eat a pizza with ham and pineapple, add this to your list of “tropical” favorites.
I chose to use bowtie pasta since it has all those nooks and crannies to hold the dressing. Preparing it ahead of time and allowing it to chill made the prep all that much easier! I would guess that adding the ingredients to chilled pasta is beneficial to allowing the veggies to keep their crunch. It keeps everything fresher tasting and that’s exactly what summer meals should shout to your mouth!
Pour the dressing made with pineapple juice(not syrup) over these ingredients and gently toss to coat pasta and evenly distribute the contents. Pineapple juice perks up the flavor in such a delightful way! Can you tell I recently watched a fabulous production of Mary Poppins by our amazing Salisbury Community Players? My granddaughter Emma accompanied me to make it a girl’s day. Familiar with the movie version, we both sang along with the songs throughout the show. A memorable day for both of us, for sure!
A last minute thought had me tossing in a little bit of crunch of nutrition. Chia seeds, according to Bob’s Red Mill, the brand I used, was a staple of ancient Mayans and Aztecs, Chia seeds were used to give a boost of energy and increase stamina by its warriors. It is used today as a superfood touted by athletes. I’ve used it as a replacement for poppyseeds in recipes, as an addition to fresh fruity summer frescas as well as a quick way to make some raspberry jam. Chia seed gel can even act as an egg replacement ! Pinterest has an abundance of recipes; the possibilities are endless. Nutritionally, one tablespoon contains 15 grams of fiber. Go over to Bob’s Red Mill and read more about the fabulous chia seeds!
Trust me, this won’t disappoint you! It’s absolutely fabulous and waiting for you to give it a try! Say, “ahhh'” and insert into your mouth. Yum!
Serves: 8 cups
- 5 c. cooked bowtie pasta
- ¾ c. pineapple tidbits, drained-juice saved
- 4 oz. thinly sliced deli ham, diced
- ¾ c. matchstick carrots, diced
- ¾ c. English cucumber, sliced and diced
- ½ t. sea salt
- ½ t. freshly ground black pepper
- ½ c. pineapple juice, saved from above
- ¾ c. mayonnaise
- 2 T. apple cider vinegar
- 2 T. sugar
- 1 T. Chia seeds
- Prepare pasta ahead of time and chill in refrigerator.
- Dice ham, separating bits using your fingertips.
- Dice matchstick carrots and cucumber as shown above.
- Whisk together dressing and pour over bowl of ingredients.
- Gently toss to coat pasta and evenly distribute salad ingredients.
- Serve immediately(pasta is already cold), or chill until ready.
- Refrigerate any unused portion.