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Go Ask Mom

Recipe: Pasta salad with lemon and peas

Posted May 26, 2011

I knew two things on Tuesday: My older daughter had a T-ball game and I needed to change my dinner plans.

My brilliant idea for the evening was breakfast for dinner. But I knew that after sitting out in the 90-plus degree heat, I wasn't going to want to make pancakes and bacon and nobody was going to want to eat them.

So, less than an hour before the game, I scratched those plans. I figured that a pasta salad that I could just pull out of the refrigerator would be a good idea. So I typed in pasta salad into Google and hoped for the best.

I got lucky. I pulled up a recipe from that called for ingredients that I (mostly) had on hand. I was able to get rid of a couple of half boxes of pasta and actually use some of the basil that is growing in my garden.

And it was delicious! I paired it with some sliced cucumber and cheese and crackers. I think next time I might also chop up a little fresh mint, also in the garden, to add to the salad. And I think the dressing would be really yummy on a tossed salad too.

Here's the recipe:

  • 1 pound bow-tie or small shell pasta (I used a mix of penne and rotini)
  • Salt
  • 1 package (10-ounce) frozen baby peas
  • 2 lemons
  • 2/3 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 cup (loosely packed) fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced (I didn't have any so skipped these).


1.Cook pasta as label directs, adding frozen peas during last 2 minutes of cooking time. Drain pasta and peas; rinse with cold water and drain well.
2. Meanwhile, from lemons, grate 1 tablespoon peel and squeeze 3 tablespoons juice. In large bowl, with wire whisk, mix lemon peel and juice with milk, mayonnaise, pepper, basil, green onions, and 1 teaspoon salt until blended.
3. Add pasta and peas to mayonnaise dressing; toss to coat well. Cover and refrigerate up to two days if not serving right away. has other recipes for some tasty looking pasta salads which I might just have to try too.


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  • shall6 May 27, 2011

    It cuts down on the mayonnaise but I think it also makes the salad creamier. The dressing turns out to be the same consistency of regular salad dressing. I also noticed that when I had leftovers the next day it was still moist unlike the regular macaroni salad I make with mayonnaise, mustard and some pickle juice. I usually have to add more mayonnaise when we have the leftovers otherwise it's dry. (I'm guessing I'm not the only one who has to do that!?)


  • ncsulilwolf May 27, 2011

    Sarah, I'm curious as to what the milk in the recipes is for? Perhaps just to cut down on the amount mayonnaise needed in the dressing? Sounds good nonetheless, I might try a different spin on this over the weekend!