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Sumptuous Salmon Pasta Salad

Nothing elevates a cold buffet selection quite like salmon. Just think about it: - It's always the smoked salmon 'n cream cheese bagels that are polished off first while the egg and tuna mayonnaise options languish largely untouched. - The exact same principle applies to salmon sushi compared to pedestrian 'n plain vegetable-based sushi. - Hotel breakfast selections may include a variety of pickled 'n smoked fish, but they rarely feature salmon, as proprietors know they couldn't possibly keep up with demand. Of course, luxury item salmon is sold at a premium price, but there are creative ways to stretch it for guaranteed impact for less. This deluxe Salmon Pasta Salad - see notes for potato alternative - is a prime example and a delicious way to herald the warmer weather.

2 cups dry macaroni or similar pasta* 1 large can pink or red salmon, flaked 1/2 cup good quality mayonnaise (more if desired) 1 teaspoon mustard of your choice 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 teaspoon lemon zest 1/3 cup chopped spring onion or red onion 2 stalks celery, chopped Approximately 3 tablespoons chopped parsley 1 tablespoon chopped dill OR 1 teaspoon dried 10 drops Tabasco or similar (optional) Salt and ground black pepper to taste Bed of lettuce to serve (optional) 1: Boil pasta in a large pot of boiling water with 1 tablespoon salt till just cooked and still firm, drain and rinse briefly under cold water, then drain again. 2: While the pasta is cooking, mix the salmon, mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice and lemon zest together in a large bowl, and fold in the chopped spring onion/red onion, parsley, dill and celery. 3: Carefully mix in the still warm pasta, add hot sauce and seasoning to taste, and chill before serving plain or on a bed of lettuce. COOK'S NOTES: Lightly boiled potatoes could replace pasta if preferred making this dish adaptable for Pesach. Add steamed green beans or lightly boiled asparagus if desired. I personally always choose wholegrain mustard in recipes.

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