Aw Shucks Southwestern Pasta Salad

If ever there was a recipe that is not sacrosanct in terms of ingredients, this would be the one.

You can add, subtract, change the amounts, just about do whatever you want, to make it fit your tastes.

That’s the beauty of pasta. It adapts. It has the ability to serve as the foundation of so many other tastes, and blend them beautifully.

This is but one version you might try. Quite frankly, it was what I had on hand at the time.

The dressing, however, can be used as a standard upon which to choose the veggies you wish.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2/3 of a box of pasta of whatever shape you prefer.
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 1/2 c chopped scallions
  • 2/3 c chopped cherry tomatoes (or romas)
  • 1 c corn (frozen if fine)
  • 1/2 c Pico de Gallo (home-made preferred but commercial if you desire)
  • 2 tbsp Mexican spices (taco seasoning–homemade or commercial)
  • 2/3 c vinaigrette (using either lime juice or lemon as the acidic instead of vinegar)
  • 1/4 c mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp hot pepper flakes

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cook the pasta al dente and then cool until no more than warm.
  2. Add the veggies of you choice or those above.
  3. Add the mayo to the vinaigrette and whisk until smooth.
  4. Add the spices to the vinaigrette and stir until mixed.
  5. Place the pepper flakes on a cutting board and run a knife over several times until it is minced. Add to the vinaigrette.
  6. Pour over the salad, and mix.

Serves: 6

NOTE: You may wish to consider beans of any type, rinse before adding. Broccoli flowerets, cauliflower, lima beans, green beans, radishes, carrots, the list is pretty much endless. You might substitute a finely minced jalapeño or other fresh hot chile for the pepper flakes. Consider a pickled hot pepper. Note also that the addition of shrimp, seasoned ground beef, chicken, ham, etc., would make this a complete meal.

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