Thursday, June 12, 2008

Lemon Pepper Pasta Salad

In all honesty, I don't think of this as a "salad," even though I suppose it meets the criteria for pasta salad. I think of it as an easy, delicious means of using up leftover pasta (leftover pasta? How can that be? Well, in truth, I always make extra pasta to make sure I'll have some leftover).

I started eating this when I was 9 or 10. Maybe as late as 11. I'd be hungry, and there'd be "nothing to eat" in the fridge. Except leftover pasta. We ate so much meat sauce and pasta after my parents split up there was always leftover pasta in the fridge. My mother one day told me it was good mixed with lemon pepper and mayonnaise.

Now, if you've seen me eat, you've also seen me go to great lengths to navigate away from anything containing mayo. The only two exceptions to this rule are the pasta salad I posted before, and tuna salad. And I always make them as dry as possible, because I just detest mayo. It's thick and fatty and it feels too congealed on my tongue in a manner that only makes me want to vomit. Gross (now why don't I tell you how I really feel?). If I get a burger and didn't know there'd be mayo, I will carefully scrape every last bit off the bun. If I can't get it all off the bun, I will deconstruct the burger, sometimes going so far as to slice off bits of the meat that still have mayo glued to it. I really, really dislike mayonnaise. I can't state it strongly enough. So in reality, I thought she was messing with me. We like to play pranks in my family, sometimes.

But then she made some and convinced me to try just one bite (I'll always try a food at least once, usually twice, even if I'm sure I will hate it). She made it with only the tiniest bit of mayonnaise - just enough to get the lemon pepper to stick (and I'm sure you all know how much I love, love, love, love and love lemon pepper). Y'know what? It was good. Really good. Somehow, the lemon pepper was able to make the mayonnaise non-toxic. I'm not sure how, but it did. I've been hooked ever since.

When I went to the U, I ate it all the time. Kind of like the romaine with lemon, lemon pepper and vinegar, except a lot more filling. I could use those 19 cent Janet Lee packages, or I could splurge and get a bag of spaghetti. This works with any pasta, but spaghetti is my personal favourite. When I'm really, really short on time, I shove the pasta in a plastic bag, dump in the mayo and lemon pepper and just squish it around in my hands until combined. Sometimes I eat it with my hands, but it's kind of messy that way.

So here it is: a short recipe to go with a long prelude. Alter the quantities as you see fit.

1 large bowl of pasta
1 tiny forkful of mayonnaise (mayonesa, the Mexican version of mayo, is better)
1 tablespoon lemon pepper (you will want to use less, I promise, unless you're a freak like me)

Mix, eat. Serves 1. Unless you're nice enough to share, in which case it serves 1 and gives a 2nd person a couple bites.

2 comments:

  1. You and I feel the SAME EXACT WAY about mayo.

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  2. God, it's foul, isn't it? The people who eat fries dipped in mayo really freak me out. I can't understand how they intentionally put that in their mouths, without being bulimic. I get icked even thinking about it.

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