The taste of sweet nostalgia – Mom’s Pasta Salad all grown up

I think everyone has that one thing, that song, smell or place that brings you back to your childhood. For me, that something is a meal. Specifically my Mom’s pasta salad. My friends from childhood can attest that this stuff is legit delicious. For me it’s about more than the taste though. It also brings back memories of carefree summer days catching frogs in the gully down the road from my house or riding my bike around the block countless times with a playing card clipped to the spoke to give it the roar of a motorcycle, or at least that’s what I thought at the time. You see, the neighborhood I grew up in was amazing. It was a real tight-knit community with neighbors chatting with neighbors and kids running around like crazy people all over the place. There were pool parties and rope swings, tree houses and barbecues and of course lots of sleepovers. I find that my current neighborhood is much the same, especially today as the sun is shining and everyone is out mingling. That is probably what prompted my stroll down memory lane and left me with a craving for my Mom’s pasta salad. The taste of sweet nostalgia.

Although my Mom perfected the recipe for taste, I decided it needed a tiny makeover to make it a little more healthy and nutrient dense. The recipe below is a serving for two. You can increase the quantities as needed! Pasta is optional, I left it out for a lower carb meal that is still delicious!

Pasta Salad


  • 1/2 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced cherry tomato
  • 1/2 cup diced cheese (a block of cheddar works well)
  • 1/2 cup diced nitrate free pepperoni
  • 1/2 cup diced dill pickles
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (we like Kasandrinos for the quality and taste)
  • Coarse Himalayan Pink Salt (Trader Joes Brand is convenient already in the grinder)
  • A small handful of basil leaves (optional)
  • One cup gluten free pasta (optional)
  • 2 Tbs apple cider vinegar

To Make:

  • If adding pasta (optional) cook according to the instructions on the box. Set aside to cool
  • Mix all diced meats, veggies and cheeses in a bowl (with the pasta if using)
  • Toss with enough olive oil to lightly coat each piece
  • Toss everything in the apple cider vinegar
  • Sprinkle with salt to taste
  • Garnish with some chopped basil (optional)



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3 thoughts on “The taste of sweet nostalgia – Mom’s Pasta Salad all grown up

  1. Aunt Sandy says:

    You are so right Brooke, it was something we all ate at summertime while visiting each other. I’m gonna try your version as it sounds delicious.


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