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Monday, June 20, 2011

Taco Pasta Salad

You may recognize the name Maggie. She's mentioned frequently on this blog, as we do a lot of cooking, eating, and vacationing together. Though Maggie and I both think a lot of the same things are fun, there is one area where we disagree: running. Few things excite me more than running. Maggie despises it with a passion. And yet, despite this, Maggie challenged our church community to raise $5,000 for two missionaries that our church supports....with the understanding that if we reached our goal, she would run a 5K.

To make a long story short, over $8,000 was raised and Maggie ran her race...one of my proudest moments as a friend :) This accomplishment called for a celebration and what better way to celebrate than a picnic? I needed to bring something to feed a crowd and this recipe fit the bill. This dish was loved by everyone, even the kids! It's a fun change from your standard Italian pasta salad. It makes a huge batch so halve it if you aren't serving a crowd or wanting leftovers.

Congrats again Maggie, I'm still so proud of you!

One Year Ago: Banana Lime Coconut Cake

Taco Pasta Salad
from Christine's Cuisine

-1 lb pasta (Christine used wagon wheel, I used Farfalle. I recommend something smallish)
-1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
-1 (10 oz) package frozen corn
-2-3 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
-8 oz. shredded Mexican-blend cheese
-1 1/2 cups fresh salsa
-1/2 cup sliced black olives
-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, to taste
-1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
-1 avocado, diced (I omitted this time, but it would be a great addition!)

1. Cook the pasta al dente according to package instructions. Drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside.
2. In a large bowl (or two medium sized bowls), combine the black beans, corn, tomatoes, salsa, olives and cheese. Once pasta is cooled, stir in and mix to combine.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, garlic, cumin, and chili powder. Pour over pasta salad and mix well. Stir in cilantro and season to taste with salt and pepper. Just before serving, dice the avocado and carefully stir into salad.