Recipe for a dry macaroni salad made with mayo and vinegar.

I have made a macaroni or rather pasta salad with no mayo- just a vinaigrette, but I want to make it with mayo after tasting a store made macaroni salad that is out of this world. The issue I have is that the mayo in theirs (i know its mayo- I asked) is barely visible and is sticky to the pasta, which I love because I am not a fan of macaroni salad that is wet and the bottom of the bowl has excess mayo/vinegar drippings. When I eat theirs- There is NO liquid at all anywhere in the container. Im guessing maybe my ratio of pasta to mayo to vinegar is off. Wondering if anyone has an idea of how to get that consistency and what measurements are for 1 pound of elbow macaroni with finely diced celery, red bell pepper, red onion, sliced olives and chick peas. Thank you



KLS May 29, 2022
You must cool/rinse the pasta; don't put mayo on hot macaroni, it's disastrous (trust me, I know).
For one pound of macaroni, I'd start with 1/2 cup mayo, mix and add more until you have the ratio you want.
With the vegetables you are using, it is unavoidable that they will throw off liquid, I just give the whole thing a stir to combine it. You could possible avoid this by salting your veggies before adding to the salad; I have never tried this as the liquid doesn't concern me.
I don't eat commercial pasta salad anymore, but from what I remember, it seemed very emulsified. Maybe instead of just stirring in mayo, you could make a dressing, thinning the mayo with some vinegar or lemon juice and a bit of milk. Also, is that salad all mayo, or is there some sour cream in it? That could also make a difference.
If this is something the actually make, maybe you could ask them how they do it?
Good Luck
Nancy May 29, 2022
Thanks for your better advice, based on experience,
Nancy May 29, 2022
Chrissy -
New to me and your idea sounds intriguing.
Method - what I would do is analogous to potato salad - when you add the vinegar right after boiling the potatoes so that they absorb it.
Do the same with the macaroni - cook, drain or lift from cooking water, add mayo immediately and mix.
As to amounts, I would use a classic recipe and start small - either half or one quarter of the specified amount of mayo.
Depending on how well your first batch turns out, keep ratios the same or adjust the amount of mayo.
See the recipe also for ratios of the other vegetables.
Nancy May 29, 2022
Here's the link I meant to attach.
Nancy May 29, 2022
OK, I stand corrected by KLS’s voice of experience on this - don’t add mayo to hot cooked pasta.
On the vegetables. Yes, raw ones give off water.
Two ways to reduce the water:
• salt and drain (like when prepping cole slaw or eggplant)
• roast before adding to the salad.
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