Mexican Pasta Salad

Mexican Pasta Salad 1 Mexican Pasta SaladOne of the things I love most about writing this food blog is that I get to try foods I’ve never had before. So when Hodgson Mill sent me boxes of their new Whole Wheat pasta to experiment with for their Summer Pastabilities contest, I couldn’t wait to start playing with it!

I have to admit that up to this point, I haven’t been a huge fan of  whole grain pastas and I’ve tried quite a few – they were either tough or doughy or just downright unappealing so I was a little skeptical. But this Mexican Pasta Salad  is  different –  tender and flavorful, with just a hint of nuttiness – in short,  it’s delicious!!

After narrowing down my ideas I decided to try my hand at a pasta salad – another dish that isn’t always high on my “favorites” list despite the fact that I  love pasta. My objection? For the most part I’ve found them to be bland and well.. boring, which is a shame, since pasta salads are perfect for summer eating and are a great choice for  picnics, barbeques and potlucks.

Since I love the flavors of chile, lime and tomatoes I thought that would be a great base to start from – and if my “taste testers” are to be believed, I was right. To add a bit more flavor, I roasted corn, tomatoes and peppers  and then added a little avocado and sliced green onion, finishing it all off with a  zesty lime and chile dressing . Now this is a mexican pasta salad!!!

If you like this pasta salad and have a few minutes, I’d truly appreciate it if you’d pop on over to Pinterest and “like” my pasta salad!

Mexican Pasta Salad
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 8 - 10 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 – 10 oz. box Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Pasta – bowtie or medium shells
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 3 quarts water
  • 2 ears of fresh corn, kernels cut off the cob
  • 6 roma tomatoes, cored and cut into ½ inch dice
  • 1 large orange bell pepper, seeded and cut into ½ inch dice
  • 1 large avocado, peeled, seeded and cut into ½ inch dice
  • 3 scallions, sliced ¼ inch thick
  • ¼ cup minced cilantro
  • 3 Tbsp. corn oil
  • Corn Strip garnish (optional_)
  • 2 small corn torillas, cut into ⅛ inch strips (optional)
  • 1 cup canola oil (optional)
  • Dressing:
  • Juice of two limes
  • 3 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. agave nectar or honey
  • ½ - 1 jalepeno seeded and minced
  • ¼ tsp. chile powder
  • large pinch of salt
  • ¾ cup corn oil
Instructions
  1. Pre heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Combine the chicken stock and water in a large saucepan or stockpot and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and stir until the water is boiling vigorously. Cook for 7 to 9 minutes until desired tenderness. Drain pasta and set aside.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, combine the corn, tomatoes and bell pepper on a sheet pan sprayed with cooking spray. Drizzle with the 3 Tbsp. corn oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the vegetables for 15 – 20 minutes until vegetables are nicely browned. Remove pan from the oven and set aside.
  4. To make the dressing, combine the lime juice, white wine vinegar, jalepeno, agave nectar, chile powder and salt in a small bowl. Whisk to combine. While whisking, slowly drizzle in the corn oil. Set dressing aside.
  5. Corn strip garnish (optional): Heat the canola oil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. When oil just begins to simmer, drop one of the tortilla strips in the oil. Cook for 2 minutes until nicely browned. If browning too quickly, reduce heat. Add the tortilla strips in small batches, being careful not to crowd the pan. Using a slotted spoon, remove the strips from the oil and drain on several layers of paper towels. Dust with chile powder and salt while still warm. Set aside.
  6. To make the salad, place the pasta in a large bowl. Add the roasted vegetables and drizzle the dressing on. Toss to thoroughly mix and taste, adding more dressing if desired.
  7. Gently mix in the avocado, scallions and cilantro. Garnish with the tortilla strips if using.

 

Comments

  1. says

    I love pasta salads…they are perfect for summer! Altogether, I’m not a big pasta eater because of the carbohydrates; but when I do eat pasta, I prefer the wholegrain. This salad not only sounds fabulous, but is also gorgeous! It’d be great this weekend in the South because of the soaring temperatures!

  2. Shayna says

    Is this something I could make ahead and serve chilled at a potluck lunch? Or do you serve it while things are still warm?

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