Ingredients for 10 servings:
1. 1 lb elbow macaroni, cooked in boiling salted water until al dente and drained
2. 2 tablespoons olive oil
3. 1 teaspoon salt
4. 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5. 1/2 cup chopped red onions or 1/2 cup scallion
6. 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
7. 1/2 cup chopped sweet pickle (about 6 small pickles)
8. 1 medium red bell peppers or 1 medium yellow bell pepper, chopped
9. 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
10. 2 tablespoons milk
11. 1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
12. 2 teaspoons celery seeds
13. 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1. In a large salad bowl, toss together the warm pasta, oil, salt, and pepper; allow to cool, then add the onion, celery, pickles, and bell pepper; toss to blend.
2. In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, milk, mustard, and celery seeds; pour half over the salad and toss to coat.
3. **At this point, cover and refrigerate the salad and remaining dressing for at least 4 hours and up to 2 days.
4. One hour before serving, remove the salad from the refrigerator, add more dressing, if needed, and taste for salt and pepper.
5. Sprinkle with the paprika, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
6. Variations–try adding any of these to the salad:
7. *2 cups frozen peas, defrosted.
8. *2 cups smoked turkey or ham cut into 1/2 inch cubes.
9. *2 cups cherry tomatoes, whole, or cut in half.
10. *2 cups pimento-stuffed green olives, drained and chopped.
11. *2 cups ranch dressing, in place of the mustard/mayonnaise combination; omit the celery seeds.
12. *6 hard-boiled eggs, sliced.