Hawaiian Mac Salad

2 lbs elbow macaroni
about 2 quarts
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup onion
2 cups milk
3 cups mayonnaise
2 Tbsp yellow mustard
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 large carrots
grated or shredded
4 each green onions
thin sliced
Salt and pepper
Bring a large stock pot of well-salted water to boil. Stir in pasta and cook until very soft, stirring every couple of minutes, you WANT to overcook the pasta by a few minutes. Drain well and put in a large bowl/hotel pan. While the pasta is still hot, stir in the apple cider vinegar and let it absorb/cool for about 15-20 minutes.
Tip: Overcooking the pasta will help it absorb the dressing and provide the right texture as it firms up when it’s cooled. Adding the vinegar seasons the pasta and also prevents the milk from curdling when making the dressing.
In a large bowl, combine grated onion, milk, mayo, mustard and brown sugar, whisk until combined and pour over pasta. Add carrots, green onions, any other of the optional ingredients you’d like to include and season with some salt and pepper. Mix everything until evenly coated. Taste again and re-season to your liking.
Optional Ingredients: Canned tuna, peas, celery, parsley, ham, bell pepper, hard-boiled egg, potato, cucumber, relish, pickles
Tip: Grated onion is absolutely mandatory in this classic Hawaiian dish and also the secret to its savory depth. If you ever see a recipe for Hawaiian Mac Salad without grated onion, it’s not the real deal!
Let sit for at least 30 mins, refrigerated, before serving. However, it’s best the next day. Before serving, give it a good stir and taste. Pasta absorbs a lot of liquid and salt, so you may need to adjust your seasonings. If it is a bit dry, fold it a little bit of milk and mayo.