I never met Nana, but I LOVE her “Noodle” salad!
📃This is the first in what we hope will be a regular series dedicated to sharing some delicious family recipes (and stories) from years past. We are looking for some old (40 years or older) recipes from your family recipe boxes! If you would like us to try and re-create one of your family’s classic dishes, we have given you a link to provide us with more information at the bottom of this piece. 📖
In 1979, pasta salads were “a thing.” They’re still popular now but nothing like back in the 70s and 80s. That chunk of time was a pasta salad sweet spot. People were far less concerned with their daily carb intake and far more interested in whipping up dishes that would be loved for years to come. That’s not a bad thing.
These refreshing summer salads were so popular that they had not only worked their way onto your dinner table but also onto just about every restaurant menu that you could imagine. Do you think I’m exaggerating? Hooters, which was started back in 1983, even had a pasta salad on their menu. Probably one of THE MOST unlikely places to see a pasta salad. And they served a damn good one.
Yes, I completely realize hardly anyone went to Hooters for the pasta salad. And as proof that pasta salad is no longer available, here is the recipe in case you’d like to try to make it.
OK, we’re not here just to reminisce about info rtp slot gacor or pasta salads of days gone by. But that might make for a fun piece down the road. We are here to let you in on a long-time family favorite from a kitchen in the Cleveland, Ohio area.
In 1979, Jane Wooden was treating her family to a different take on the pasta salad theme. And as it turns out, this recipe has withstood the test of time. At least in the Wooden family. It wasn’t one that was made just a few times and then filed away in the recipe box to grow old gracefully. This recipe was used a lot!
Jane was a fantastic cook and just loved creating delicious dishes for her family to enjoy. She stumbled on this recipe back in the late 70s. Her daughter, Amy, who was still in grade school at the time, was already in training to be her mom’s prep chef. All of that early culinary training served Amy well. Today she works as a Nutritional Health Coach.
Full-course meals were pretty much the norm in the Wooden household. That means more than just a steak on a plate for those who have never had an entire family meal experience. Main course, salad, sides, and then, hopefully, dessert. That was the way folks did it back 40+ years ago.
My family had full-course meals back then too. Granted, those dinners only lasted 10-15 minutes due to my dad’s work schedule. But I do credit my mom, for getting all of the elements for a real dinner to the table.
This particular recipe, as it was given to me, isn’t even called a pasta salad. Instead, it’s titled as a “noodle salad.” Of course, I realize it’s the same thing. But it makes me wonder when the switch from noodles to pasta happened? Some marketing people were involved in that, I’m sure.
This recipe has held up well for 43 years. And it’s pretty slot gacor of a lot of recipes of that time (and the 1960s). If you can boil water AND operate a can opener, you can probably make this salad! It’s pretty much that simple.
All right, it’s time to get to this. Can we faithfully replicate Jane Wooden’s recipe from 1979? We’re about to find out the answer to that burning question.
YES! We made a movie. What would a Sarasota Bites recipe piece be without one?… 🎥
If you’re willing to give this a try, we’re here to assist with some of the particulars. As with many of these old recipes, the actual directions leave a little to the imagination. We’ve helped you out by filling in some of the details.
NANA’S SOUTHWEST NOODLE SALAD
- 1lb Ditalini pasta (1# dry weight)
- ⅔ cup cider vinegar
- ¼ cup Canola oil
- 1 cup celery, diced
- ½ cup green pepper, diced
- 6 green onions, sliced (reserve the tops for garnish)
- 2oz jar diced pimento
- 1 Tbsp canned, diced green chilies
- 15oz can black-eyed peas
- 12oz can yellow corn
- ½ cup black olives, sliced
- 2oz green olives, sliced
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- 3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
- 3 dashes Tabasco sauce
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
Cook pasta al dente according to the directions on the package. Drain when cooked. In a large bowl, add the cooked pasta. Pour the cider vinegar and the canola oil over the warm pasta. Mix well.
Add all the remaining ingredients except the salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, and mayonnaise to the bowl, stirring to combine occasionally.
Add the mayonnaise. Stir well to mix. Finally, add the salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and Tabasco. Mix well.
Garnish with chopped green onion tops and refrigerate. This pasta salad is meant to be served well chilled. And it’s even better the next day!
Let’s see how ours turned out.
It turned out beautifully. This old-school pasta (or noodle) salad would make a great addition to any summer dinner table.
Here are some tasting, cooking, and plating notes for you.
- The original recipe just called for “macaroni.” With Amy’s help, I discovered that the pasta shape her mom used was Ditalini. Here’s some info about that pasta.
- This recipe makes a MOUNTAIN of pasta salad. I mean that. You’ll need your largest mixing bowl to handle all of the ingredients and still have room to mix it thoroughly.
- The recipe given to me didn’t call for garnishing with green onion tops, but… Remember, I’ve been working on my plating skills!
- I used mild canned green chilis in my salad. The recipe didn’t specify, so I didn’t want to over-spice this. As it turns out, it is not very spicy at all. If you’d like a little zip, use the spicy variety.
This is a perfect dish for a group event or holiday potluck. It travels pretty well and can feed an army!
That is it! What do you think? Please leave a comment if you make Nana’s Southwest Noodle Salad for yourself. Or, better yet, share a photo, and we’ll make sure that the rest of the world sees it!
🌟 Thanks to Brad Wooden for sharing this recipe with me. Thank you to Amy Wooden for filling in some of the blanks and for letting us all in on just how great a cook her mom was.
🔗 Here’s the link that we mentioned at the top of the post. If you would like us to consider making one of your family’s classic dishes, just click and fill out the form!