Monday, September 21, 2009

Cheap and Cheerful Cooking: Southwestern Pasta Salad

This is a great side dish for a party, especially if you have vegetarian guests. It's also easy to substitute less or more veggies, add cheese, add a bit of sugar to the "dressing", etc. Enjoy!

1/2 (16 ounce) package rotini pasta
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons chili powder, or to taste
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 cups whole kernel corn
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 cup chopped roma (plum) tomatoes

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
In a large bowl combine oil, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, salt and garlic. Stir in pasta and set aside to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
Stir in corn, beans, green pepper, red pepper and 1/2 of the cilantro leaves. Spoon onto a platter and garnish with tomatoes and remaining cilantro. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

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