This is a great side dish, one that's economical, nutritious and great for picnics, barbeques or pot-luck suppers. It's an easy way to get more veggies into your family. See variation that makes it into a main dish.
8 oz. small elbow macaroni, uncooked (Note #1)
Hard boil the eggs; place in cold water to cool off, cracking the shells to make them easier to peel. When cooled, peel and rinse.
Bring water to a boil, add salt and cook macaroni as per package directions.
Place the raisins in a heat-proof bowl and ladle about 1/2 cup of the boiling water over them; leave them to soak and plump.
When macaroni is cooked, drain, cover with cold water to halt the cooking process, drain again, and continue until macaroni is cool. Set aside to drain thoroughly.
Put sugar in the water in which you will cook the peas, and cook in the microwave or on the stovetop until tender but not mushy. Drain the peas and the raisins.
Scrub and trim the carrots and celery and shred finely. Immediately combine with the drained macaroni, mayonnaise, black pepper and paprika. Stir gently to coat all ingredients with mayonnaise.
Add peas and raisins and fold to combine. Slice the hard boiled eggs and distribute on top the salad. Sprinkle with paprika to garnish. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
See variation (Note #4) to turn this into a main dish.
Note #1: For higher nutrition and fiber, use whole wheat macaroni or an enriched pasta with fiber and other added nutrients. These are increasingly hard to find, as every time a company comes out with one, demand is so low it is discontinued.
Note #2: Use reduced fat mayonnaise, or fat free if fat reduction is your priority.
Note #3: Eggs are optional. For a low-cholesterol diet, use only the whites, or omit eggs entirely. Note that egg yolks, while containing fat and cholesterol, are high in nutrients, too.
Note #4: To turn this salad into a main dish, add 1 can of drained tuna and 1 or 2 tablespoons of finely minced onion.