Photo: Caitlin Bensel; Styling: Blakeslee Giles and Audrey Davis 

Spoiler alert: It's something beautiful. 

Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm
July 08, 2016

There are a few reactions to potato salad:

  1. Potato salad, yay!
  2. Potato salad, ew.
  3. Potato salad, eh.

The combination of potatoes and mayonnaise gets a bad rap as a maligned picnic food of yesteryear. It's put into the same category as too mushy pasta salad with canned black olives or (gasp!) that molded Jell-o stuff patterned with grated carrot that wiggles like nothing in this world should.

But, now, what if potato salad was turned on its spud head. What if we took two classic pasta dishes and turned them into potato salad. And by what if, we mean we did: Meet Potato Salad Carbonara and Cacio E Pepe Potato Salad.

The first tosses the pancetta, eggs (here, hard-cooked) and cheese of a classic Carbonara pasta and homemade aïoli with cubed, boiled Yukon Gold potatoes into something that's happy alongside barbecue chicken or pork and slaw.

The second uses the two cheeses (Pecorino Romano and Parmigiano-Romano) and bite-worthy amount of black pepper of Cacio e Pepe pasta and a good slick of extra-virgin olive oil to coat roasted potato wedges. If you can find something wrong with the indisputably good combination of cheese and potatoes, let us know. It's dang near perfect to us—and, even better, as a side for grilled steak.

As for the next recipe makeover? We're looking at you Jell-O.

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