When this pasta salad arrived on the picnic table, and where it came from, is a mystery. It may have been an offshoot of another creamy summer salad, the potato kind. Crisp celery, peas, and scallions punctuate this version, which is sprinkled with bits of ham and ground pepper and nutmeg.
- Coarse salt
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 1 1/4 cups frozen petite peas
- 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced crosswise
- 3 scallions, white and pale-green parts plus 1 inch of dark-green part, thinly sliced diagonally
- 6 ounces Black Forest ham, or other dry-cured ham, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 3/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Freshly ground pepper
Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add salt. Add macaroni; cook until al dente. Drain. Rinse with cold water, and drain. Transfer to a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate until cool.
Thaw peas under cold running water. Drain. Toss with celery, scallions, and ham in a bowl. Add to macaroni; toss.
Whisk mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, sugar, nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; fold into macaroni mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Salad can be refrigerated in an airtight container, up to 3 hours.