With Thorough Foodiness

With Thorough Foodiness Week 2: Acceptable Pasta Salad

Welcome back to With Thorough Foodiness for our second feature recipe! Today on WTF, we will be making a pasta salad that everyone will deem acceptable and then forget about.

“But why?” I hear you saying. “Why would I want to make a pasta salad that is merely mediocre?”

Simple: because it’s ****ing easy.

Last minute pot-luck? Friend is having a party and says “bring anything?” Unexpected guests? Make them something you don’t have to ever hear about again.

Acceptable Pasta Salad

Prep time: 20 minutes

Serves: As many people as you make it for.


-squiggly pasta, in as many colors as you like

-a cucumber

-baby carrots

-black olives

-fancy green olves


-whatever other gross vegetables your heart desires

  1. Put a large-ish pot of water on the stove to boil on high heat. If you have a fancy stove, this will be a quick experience. For the rest of us plebeians, begin preparing veg while you wait.
  2. Cut cucumber. This can be difficult the first time, but once you cut it this way, you will never cut it differently. Slice the cucumber in half. Scoop out seeds with a spoon, then lay both halves face-down on the cutting board, lined up perpendicular to the edge of the counter. Being very careful, cut each half ALMOST all the way in half again, but not all the way. Now turn the cutting board 90 degrees, so that the not-cut bit is towards your non-dominant hand. Begin slicing cucumbers thinly. SEE?? ISN’T THAT THE BEST WAY??? Yes it is. Place these in a large bowl you have set aside just for this purpose.
  3. Cut carrots into long, thin strps.  Remember, when you are eating pasta salad, you want to be able to get both veg and pasta on your fork at the same time. Make sure the pieces of carrot will fit between the tines so people can actually eat them without piercing a paper plate due to the fierceness of their stabbing. Flying veg often offends. Add to carrots to bowl.
  4. If you are me, your water will JUST have come to a boil. Add pasta, give it a stir with a spoon (not your finger you twit), and set the timer for whatever time the box says, minus one minute if you are in America.* Give it a stir again to make sure it’s not sticking. Add salt after your mother nags you to.
  5. Open can of black olives, drain some liquid. Slice your olives so that they will come out as rounds. Slice as many as you think you want, plus half again. Add to bowl.
  6. Open fancy green olives.** Slice very thinly for maximum affect with minimum expenditure. Add to bowl.
  7. Cut pepperonis into quarters. Add to bowl.
  8. Cut any other veg you decided to put in here for no reason I can imagine, keeping in mind the cardinal rule about making them easy to stab. Fling across room. …I’m kidding, add them to the bowl.***
  9. Get out a colander to drain your pasta in, as well as another large bowl that you will be using to serve the pasta. Make sure it is large enough to accomodate stirring. I mean, you can use two bowls, one for mixing, a smaller one for serving, but do you really want to wash those extra dishes? Didn’t think so.
  10. Drain pasta after timer goes off, and rinse with cold water. Wait a minute before using your hand to stir pasta, as it doesn’t cool off as quickly as you think it will. Pour drained, cool pasta into the bowl you got out, then toss veg over it. Optional: Stick this in the fridge until you need it, if making ahead, or just keep on going, doesn’t really matter.
  11. Pour Italian dressing over salad, a little at a time, until it seems coated. Then use one more dash. Mix mix mix, taste, add a bit more, mix… Okay! Enjoy with a lovely slice of watermelon and the nagging feeling that you left out an ingredient you meant to use.

*Americans are notorious for eating mushy food. We cook it to death. There’s nothing worse than soggy pasta salad, so cut back the time. Other countries: do as you must.

**Why fancy? Because this is your piece de resistance! People will try your pasta salad, and there, among the generic cheapo stuff you bought, will be these bad boys. Super impressive. You will fool everyone into thinking this was way more expensive than it is.

***I’m not actually kidding, but it’s your salad. Just remember, not everyone likes crap like broccoli. And many people are sensitive to green peppers and raw onions. Don’t be That Person.

Well, I hope you have enjoyed the second installment of WTF!

Have a recipe you’d like to see? Request it below! If you try this recipe, please share your personal experiences with us, possibly pictures.

Next week, we shall discuss how to make broccoli that doesn’t taste like crap. I’m joking, all broccoli is awful and cannot be redeemed. I’ll think of something else. See you then!

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