Summer is on its way and so that means it’s time to break out the pasta salad recipes for picnics and barbeques. Here is a recipe for what is called “Ensalada de Conchitas” (little shell salad), because of the shape of the pasta used. (I have no idea if this is an “authentic” Salvadoran recipe but it’s something Suegra used to make which I’ve changed a little.)
ENSALADA DE CONCHITAS (LITTLE SHELL SALAD)
• One 7 oz. package of “conchitas” pasta (the brand I use is La Moderna but any small shell-shaped pasta is fine)
• Mayonnaise (whichever brand you like)
• A handful of fresh cilantro, washed and chopped (best if you avoid the stems & use only leaves)
• Juice of 1/2 a lime
• 1 tablespoon of ketchup (brand not important)
• Salt & Pepper to taste
1. Boil water with a few dashes of salt. Add the pasta and cook until tender. Pour pasta into a colander and run cold water over them until they’re no longer hot.
2. In a large bowl, combine pasta with mayonnaise. The amount of mayonnaise will depend on your personal preference, so just add it slowly and mix it in until your preferred level creaminess is achieved.
3. Add cilantro, the juice of 1/2 a lime, and a tablespoon of ketchup. Mix well. Season with salt and pepper to your personal tastes and then refrigerate for at least an hour or two so it’s nice and cold before serving.