Nana's Ramen Pasta Salad
Some of the best summers I had were camping beside a river on my Godparent’s land. NO showers, no shoes, no nothin’. There were no such thing as cell phones. Life was good.
I wish I could go back in time and tell my nine year-old self this: your whole world is amazing and perfect. Don’t think about what you look like. Be less afraid of all the things, like picking up lizards and going off-roading with Uncle Lee. The world is yours. Laugh about it.
I remember once, all of us gals were in the river in lawn chairs chatting, moms with wine, kids catching crawdads. I came over and sat in one of the chairs and immediately fell backwards, folding up into the chair, all gangly pre-teen limbs everywhere. My mom laughed so hard she spit out her breakfast chardonnay. I. was. So. Pissed.
I would so be my mom now. And I so wish I could have laughed at myself then. Surprise surprise, I wish I could laugh at myself more now too, but some things never change.
River camping – all camping – was (is) all about not sparing a single expense for delicious food, though we rarely had electricity or refrigeration. My family’s camp food beats The Ritz any day. It’s how we do. Bacon wrapped quail? Easy. Fresh pesto? Great, I’ll grab the basil, you grab the pecorino. These are real examples folks, real examples.
If I were going out to camp this summer, I’d make this pasta salad. For one, there’s no mayo so it keeps like a dream. Second, you only need fire, which is easy. Third, you can eat it with anything, or as the main thing. Nana sure knew what she was doing with this one.
Nana’s Ramen Pasta Salad
- 2 chicken Top Ramen packets
- 1 pack slivered almonds
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 med cabbage finely shredded (I usually buy bagged coleslaw as a quick hack)
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 bunch green onions – just the whites and some bottom of the green diced
- ¾ cup olive oil
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- Make ramen as instructed. I like to break mine in half before putting into water. Strain and rinse with cold water until all heat is gone.
- Roast almonds in butter lightly, stirring constantly, then set aside. These cook fast, beware.
- Combine and whisk oils, sugar, and spice packets for dressing.
- Combine noodles, almonds, cabbage, bell pep, and onions. Pour dressing over, and mix.
- Refrigerate for a few hours to let it set. Or don’t – some things can’t wait.
Note: Second day Ramen Salad is ideal.