Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Creamy Latin Pasta Salad ~ 5.20.09

This would make a great side dish for your Memorial Day picnic this weekend! It is THE OFFICIAL start of summer and I'm hoping the weather cooperates with the calendar b/c we intend to grill!

Oh how I love a grilled burger or veggies or hot dog or... anything!

I made this when I had the twin's birthday party back in March. We went for a Mexi-themed party and I served Beef and Bean chimichangas, Sweet Potato Burritos, Taco cups (for the kids) and this Creamy Latin Pasta Salad. OH and my favorite Black Bean Salsa made an appearance as well!

So Friday night, 2 days before the party... I was just, you know, looking around on the web for what I was going to make. I already knew the main course, I just needed my sides. AND I went looking to Ingrid Hoffman of Food Network fame.

This recipe doesn't disappoint. It lives up to it's creamy name and gets it's latin flavors from cilantro and lime juice. I add whatever veggies I have around the kitchen. But, the past 2 times I've made it, black and green olives and grap tomatoes have always been present!

Give this a try if you're tired of the same old Italian pasta salad and you'll be glad you did. I just wish my kids liked pasta salad- I think they can't get past the "it's pasta and it's cold" thing. their loss.

Here's what you need and how do make it!

1 lb rotini pasta --- cook to al dente in boiling salted water

Dressing (I double this!- the salad seems to be too dry without adding more dressing)
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 lime juiced

place all the dressing ingredients in a blender and whirl until smooth and creamy. toss with drained pasta and fold in your add ins....

Add ins:
choppped black olives
chopped green olives
zucchini- I cut into thin slices, stack and then cut into strips
red pepper
red onion (no thank you)
grape tomatoes- cut in half
thin sliced ham
jicama- thinly sliced
1 cup frozen peas

Chill, covered, for at least 2 hours. Mix before serving and taste to see if you need to add a bit more dressing. I did. It seemed dry. As I didn't want to add too much more, I added a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to loosen it up a bit.

Makes 6-8 servings, at least. I'd say more. I only made this much and had plenty for our large group of 25 + people ('cause not everyone eats it...)!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Crafty P,

    It's Sherri from LOAD! I just love your food blog. I'm so challenged in the kitchen I am always looking for recipes and tips. :) I think the Sweet Potato Burritos sound wonderful and think I'll try them this week! :)