Ranch Shell Pasta Salad
by Jes Mostek
serves: 10
  You may find that you need to alter the proportions of some of the ingredients to fit your family's tastes. My kids usually ask me to use extra tomatoes, for example. Simply omit the meat to make a vegetarian meal.

This meal is enough to feed a crowd, and makes for great left-overs. But for dressed salad, eat it up within a few days or the veggies will start to loose their crunch. If you're not one for left-overs, simply cut the recipe in half.

  1 (1 lb.) box   small shell pasta
  2   eggs, hard-boiled
  1 stalk   broccoli
  2   carrots
  1 (3.8 oz.) can   sliced black olives, drained
  1 pkg.   grape tomatoes
  1   cucumber
  2 c.   shredded cheddar
  1/2 lb.   deli meat or diced ham
  1/2 c.   sunflower seeds
  3/4 c.   ranch dressing
  Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and rinse in cold water. Hard-boil the eggs with the pasta.

When the eggs are cooked, peel the shells off of the eggs, and separate the yolks from the whites. Chop and cool the whites (under cold water with the pasta) and crumble the yolks and set aside.

Chop the broccoli into bite-sized pieces; thinly slice or julienne slice carrots; slice each grape tomato in half; cut the cucumber into chunks. Grate or cube the cheese. Cut up the deli meat.

In a large bowl, combine the pasta, veggies, cheese, meat, chopped egg, and sunflower seeds.

In a small bowl, mix crumbled egg yolks and pepper into the ranch dressing. Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately.