This recipe is a family favorite, and a holiday or large party standard. It is a recipe that originated from a TV show on the Food Network, though I don't remember which one.
My DH immediately started playing with the recipe and it is pretty different from the original now. It is delicious because of the way the spices play together with the ingredients, and that is mostly the same as the original recipe. Most of the work is in chopping up ingredients. Yes, it takes more than a day to make correctly, but it is worth it.
Mike's Macaroni Salad
1 (16-ounce) package salad macaroni (or ditali pasta)
1 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1/2 cup yellow or white onion, diced
1 cup medium cheddar, diced
1 cup Swiss cheese, diced
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesano Reggiano
1 cup sweet pickles, diced (bread 'n butter work well)
1 cup ham diced
1 can drained sweet peas
1 to 2 tablespoons Lowry's garlic salt
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 to 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1 to 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise/miracle whip (a 50/50 mixture is best)
Add 2 quarts of water to a medium stockpot and bring to a boil. Add macaroni and cook until it is al dente, approximately 9 minutes. Do not overcook the pasta or it will fall apart when the salad is tossed together. Rinse macaroni until cool. Drain well and let it dry out slightly.
Add pasta to a large bowl. Carefully fold in celery, onion, cheddar, Swiss cheese, Parmesan, pickles, ham, and sweet peas. Refrigerate the mixture, uncovered, overnight (the flavors are much better if overnight) (refrigerate at least 2 hours).
Mix the garlic salt, minced garlic, white pepper, black pepper, cayenne pepper, dry mustard and celery salt together. Add to salad. Fold in 1 cup of mayo/miracle whip mixture to start. Add up to a 1/2 cup more of mayo/miracle whip if needed. Refrigerate again for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
We almost always double the recipe for a party, to make sure there are adequate leftovers. :)