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Benedictine pasta salad would rate as the best pasta salad. Try it and see why.
Benedictine Pasta Salad–Loaded With Flavor
If you can’t decide whether you want a cucumber salad or a traditional pasta salad, then this Benedictine pasta salad is just what you’re looking for. Since it combines the best parts of both salads, it’s sure to please.
The pasta in this salad is mini farfalle (bowties). I haven’t seen that in any generic or store brand so if you want to use that, you’ll have to go with a major brand. You want smallish pasta here so the regular bowties may be too large. If you can’t get the mini bowties, then I’d recommend medium shells, ditalini or spirals. You’ll want to stay away from any larger tubular shapes as you don’t want excess water in this because of the cucumbers. Even though you seed them, cucumbers will still give out some water.
This dressing really is a show stopper. It has a wonderful bright clean flavor that would go well with other salads as well.
Now about the mint and the hot sauce–the dressing isn’t hot or even piquant. The hot sauce is there to bring out the flavor; much like a pinch of chili powder heightens then flavor of chocolate. And the mint has the same effect. You don’t really taste it but the dressing would be missing something if it was omitted.
In this I used the so-called “seedless” cucumbers. They are often known as “European” or “English” cucumbers. Even though they claim to be seedless, there’s pulp in the center so you have to remove it. Otherwise, so much water will leech out that it will ruin the salad. I didn’t use the more common variety because they’re waxed and I didn’t want to remove the skin so I’d have a pop of color. Another great choice would be Kirby or pickling cucumbers. They’re good and solid and are sold unwaxed–however the skin is a bit on the tough side FYI.
As for the carrots, slice them really thin so they will be nice and tender for the salad. Same goes with the peas.
Benedictine Pasta Salad
- 1/2 cup cucumber seeded and chopped
- 3 tbs chopped onion
- 3 tbs chopped mint
- 1 tbs chopped garlic
- 4 oz cream cheese softened
- 2 tbs mayonnaise
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 2 tbs lemon juice
- 1 tsp hot sauce
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 8 oz mini farfalle
- 1 1/2 cup carrots sliced
- 1 1/2 cups cucumber seeded and sliced
- 1 cup frozen peas thawed
- 1/2 cup radishes sliced
- 1/2 cup green onion sliced
- 1 tbs dried dill weed or 1/3 cup fresh chopped
- Dressing--place the cucumber, onion, mint and garlic in a food processor pulsing to finely mince. Add the cream cheese, mayonnaise, lemon zest & juice and hot sauce and puree. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Chill until ready to use.
- Salad--cook mini farfalle per package directions, adding the carrots and peas during the last 2 minutes of cooking; rinse and drain. Place in a large bowl.
- Add the cucumber, radishes, green onion and dill and toss well. Add dressing and toss to coat. Season with additional salt & pepper if needed. Chill until ready to serve.