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Pulled Pork Pasta Salad

Pulled Pork Pasta Salad
Serves 12 as a side dish

Note: This salad was intended as a straight-up side dish to enjoy pretty much any season. As I wasn’t entertaining a large group of guests, I found myself scarfing up just about all of the leftovers after our first round of photos and tastings. At the end of the day, post-Manster-sitting, I dished it up over a bowl of fresh arugula and spinach and added small chunks of soft brie and sliced organic grape tomatoes. I tossed my once-again altered creation with a small amount of the leftover dressing. It was an incredibly delicious spinoff of the original recipe and yet it still brought me right back to that lovely afternoon in a favorite family’s backyard garden!

½ lb. prepared pulled pork (I used Jack Daniel’s brand) or you can make your own – $5.99
1 lb. fusilli – $1.29
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar -stock
1 Teaspoon Srichacha hot sauce – from a well-stocked Asian pantry
½ Teaspoon chili powder – stock
Pinch cayenne pepper – stock
½ cup mayonnaise – stock
½ cup Greek yogurt – $0.89
½ cup BBQ Sauce – $0.99
1 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped fine – $0.99
1 cup English cucumber, chopped – $0.99
4 or 5 scallions, diced, including the green part – $0.99
3 Tablespoons chopped, fresh cilantro – $0.99
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Grand Total Assuming a Well-Stocked Pantry: $13.12
Total Per Serving: $1.09

1. Cook the pasta according to package directions, about 8 minutes. Rinse under cold running water in a colander, drain and set aside.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, hot sauce, chili powder, cayenne pepper, mayonnaise, Greek yogurt and BBQ sauce. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, combine the vegetables and pasta. Add about half of the BBQ dressing and toss to coat, mixing well. (Save the remaining dressing in a sealed container in the refrigerator.) Correct the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Arrange the pulled pork on top and then cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

5. Before serving, add the cilantro. If the pasta seems a bit dry to your taste add a few spoonfuls of the remaining dressing and mix well.