Saturday, June 13, 2009

Taco Pasta Salad

Tonight, our friends are hosting a potluck for all the young people in our neighborhood. Just the ones we know, but there are a ton of us around here that all know each other! It's a bit like college or a small town where people live close enough that we walk by each other's houses and just randomly stop by because we live so close. It's great!
I decided on a taco pasta salad, which is supposed to be another Cara with a "C"'s Wagon Wheel Taco Pasta Salad, but my store didn't have wagon wheel pasta, so I settled on mini farfalle. Good enough! The pasta salad was really good--I prefer pasta salads without any mayonnaise or creamy dressing, and this fits that preference. It has all the great flavors I love-- black beans, corns, salsa, pasta, cheese, and fresh cilantro--and I think it would be great with some shredded chicken in it as a meal. Next time I make it, I'll add chicken and plan on eating it for meals all week! It does make quite a bit, so plan on eating it for a while or feeding a small crowd!

Wagon Wheel Taco Pasta Salad

1lb wagon wheel pasta

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 10oz package frozen corn (I don't even bother thawing it, because I always make this at least a few hours before serving, so it plenty of time to defrost)

2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced

8oz shredded Mexican-blend cheese

1 1/2 cups salsa

1/2 cup olive oil

3-4 tbsp lime juice

1 tbsp cumin

1-2 tsp chili powder

2 garlic cloves, minced

freshly ground salt & pepper

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 avocado, diced

Cook the pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.In a large bowl, combine the black beans, corn, tomatoes, salsa, and cheese. Add the cooled pasta and mix well.In another bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, garlic, cumin and chili powder. Pour over the pasta salad, add the cilantro, and mix well. Season to taste with salt & pepper.Just before serving, stir in the diced avocado.
Good bye for a week! I am leaving bright and early tomorrow morning for a week at Orlando Culinary Academy, which is Cordon Bleu affiliated! I am really excited, and a little nervous and anxious for the week. Hope to come back with lots of great information to share! Which reminds me...I still have to pack.....oops!