At most family gatherings, parties, church functions, and pot lucks, Dana is asked to bring her famous (at least among family and friends) Crab and Pasta Salad. I am a snob when it comes to prepackaged salads, store-bought deli salads, and boxed salad mixes; I think most are disgusting. This salad can be put together so fast, I canít understand why anyone would ever purchase a pre-made pasta salad. Boiling the pasta takes the longest Ė 15-20 minutes, including getting the water to a boil and rinsing in cold water after cooking. I get the rest of the ingredients ready while the pasta is cooking and itís only about 10 more minutes hands-on time to mix everything together.
This salad is perfect as a side dish for a barbecue, a family picnic, or any large gathering. It can be made the day before, and if youíre adventurous, you can add additional ingredients that you especially like. Personally, though, I like it exactly as it is in the following recipe; just like Dana makes. Sometimes I think that simple is best!
If you canít get good crab or donít like imitation crab, you can substitute chopped cooked chicken breast, salad shrimp, or water packed white solid tuna.
Danaís Famous Crab and Pasta Salad
1 16 oz. package tricolor pasta spirals (or similar), cooked al dente, rinsed, and cooled
1 pound crab, or imitation crab, flaked
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup Miracle Whip
3 tablespoons milk, (may need a little more to moisten)
1 .7 ounce (19g.) package Italian salad dressing mix, (use dry, don't mix it up or add anything to it)
2 cups frozen peas
2 cucumbers, peeled, quartered, and sliced
1 3.8 ounce can sliced ripe olives
In a large bowl, mix the pasta and crab. Mix the mayonnaise, Miracle Whip, and milk. Stir into the pasta mixture. Sprinkle on the dry salad dressing mix and stir well. Add the peas, cucumbers, and olives; stir. Cover and chill thoroughly.