Growing up in Germany I was introduced to this pasta salad as a young girl. I guess my mom found the recipe sometime in the 70's in a magazine and it has been a family favorite ever since.
I always looked forward to my mom making this salad. I remember us (my sisters and I) putting dibs on the leftovers if there were any. I introduced my own family to this recipe many years ago and it has been just as well received. My children will also fight over the leftovers, just like I did many years ago with my own siblings.
This pasta salad is made quickly and tastes great with just about anything from grilled chicken, to pork, beef, or sausages. Sometimes I even leave the ham out and make it a true vegetarian option depending on who is eating. Because of the mild flavor of the canned peas and carrots this salad has proven over and over that it is a favorite with kids even if they are not too keen on vegetables. The dressing isn't as rich tasting due to the sour cream content which will cut the heaviness of the mayonnaise but I've also made this salad time and time again with low fat ingredients with the same great results.
I hope you'll give my German version a try, maybe it will become a family favorite for you as well.
Susi's German Pasta Salad
8 ounces Elbow Pasta
1 (15 ounce) can Baby Peas, drained (I prefer Le Sueur Brand)
1 (15 ounce) can Baby Carrots, drained and sliced (Le Sueur Brand)
1 (6 ounce) pack boiled Ham, diced
1/2 cup pickles, diced
2 tablespoons pickle juice
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
1 tablespoon pickle juice
Pinch of sugar
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and place in a large bowl. Immediately add the pickle juice and vinegar, toss to coat the pasta. Let cool slightly, then add the peas, the carrots, ham, and pickles. Mix together.
For the dressing add sour cream, mayonnaise, mustard, pickle juice, sugar, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Whisk together. Taste for seasonings.
Add the dressing to the pasta mixture and toss to coat. Refrigerate for about 2 hours before serving.