Paul Kirk’s book Paul Kirk’s Championship Barbecue: Barbecue Your Way to Greatness With 575 Lip-Smackin’ Recipes from the Baron of Barbecue is full of great recipes, such as this outstanding Creole pasta salad. We loved the crunch of the bell pepper and celery, the smoothness of the pasta and buttermilk dressing, the pop of the tomatoes, and our favorite, the briny saltiness of the olives. Although I used tri-color Rotini pasta, you can use elbow macaroni instead. Or even wagon wheel pasta.
This recipe serves a crowd, so it is perfect for a family get-together. It does have some kick, so you might warn grandma before she digs in! If you want to keep out the heat, just leave out the cayenne pepper.
- 1 pound dried pasta (whatever style you like, such as macaroni, shells, etc)
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, cubed
- 1/2 cup celery, diced
- 1/2 cup white onion, diced
- 1/2 cup green bell pepper, diced
- 1/4 cup stuffed green olives, sliced
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup (plus a little more) buttermilk
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Cook the pasta per the package instructions. Rinse and drain well and let cool completely.
- Combine the pasta, tomatoes, cheese, celery, onion, bell pepper and olives in a large bowl.
- Combine the mayo, buttermilk, garlic, salt, and white and cayenne peppers in a bowl (or jar.. shake to combine) and pour over the salad. Toss to combine.
- Let set in the fridge for at least 4 hours until well chilled.
- If the salad seems dry, add in a tablespoon of extra buttermilk and stir to moisten.