Thursday, September 5, 2013

copy cat ruby tuesdays pasta salad

I worked at Ruby Tuesdays for a long time... as a waitress, bartender and expediter. The one thing I miss the most from that job is the salad bar. Always fresh vegetables to eat and the croutons? Oh, so good. And since I love a good pasta salad, I loved the ham and pea pasta salad they had on the bar. Well, we don't go to Ruby Tuesdays much any more, so I tried to create my own. This is pretty close!
Fun Fact!!! Bell peppers come in both female and male! Here's how to tell them apart- when at the grocery store while choosing peppers, grab each one and turn it over. Take a look at the bottom- if it has 3 ridges, it's a male. The female, like you see above, has 4 ridges and will stand up on the table when you set it down. The also taste slightly different. A male will be more bitter and a female more sweet, but a female will have more seeds and will be harder to clean out. I however, don't mind having to clean them out because the sweeter pepper is what I want!
You can use whatever pasta you want, but I like the swirly kind you see above, because it holds more of the sauce. But, it's also the kind that the use at Ruby Tuesdays, so I wanted it to be traditional.
The sauce for the pasta salad is ranch, mayonnaise, all seasons salt, salt and pepper. That's it!
The fixings of the salad are ham, cut into strips, the diced bell pepper and peas. Make sure the peas are partially defrosted, but not the whole way, or they'll just mush up as you mix. Stir them into the sauce and then add your pasta. Make sure you let the salad rest in the fridge for a while to let the flavors come together. And then... devour!
Copy Cat Ruby Tuesdays Pasta Salad
1 pound rotini pasta, prepared according to package directions
3/4 cup ranch dressing
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon all seasons salt
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoons black pepper
2 cups cooked ham, cut into slices
1/2 cup frozen peas, partially defrosted
1 bell pepper, diced

Cook pasta according to package directions, and drain thoroughly. Let this cool completely. In a large bowl, whisk together ranch dressing, mayonnaise, all seasons salt, salt and pepper. Stir in diced ham, partially defrosted peas, diced bell pepper and cooled pasta. Wrap with plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator until completely cold, or longer if possible. Serve cold and enjoy!