This was one of the first recipes I came across when I started frequenting the What's Cooking? Board (a forum for newlyweds sharing a common interest in food). It's a pasta salad recipe from Cara of Cara's Cravings. When I first read through the recipe, I knew I had to try it - I'll try anything with avocados in it, I love them! The big question, though, was whether my husband would eat it because he hates pasta salad.
The dish comes together quite easily. While the pasta is cooking, you can chop the tomatoes and cilantro, mix together the dressing, and throw the remaining ingredients into a large salad bowl. It's the kind of dish that is perfect for a weeknight meal, or to take with you to a potluck or luncheon.
Since the dressing is not mayonnaise-based, this dish is really light. If you're looking for something a little more filling, you could add diced, cooked chicken to this dish.
And if you like this, you might also want to try the Tex Mex Salsa.
Southwestern Wagon Wheel Pasta Salad
from Cara's Cravings
8 ounces wagon wheel macaroni, uncooked
1 (15 ounce) can black beans
1 (9 ounce) package frozen corn, thawed
1 cup salsa
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (I used about 1/2 cup - love cilantro!)
8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups tortilla chips, crushed (I omitted these)
1 avocado, pitted, chopped (I sliced mine instead)
1/2 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
3 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 large garlic cloves, minced
In medium bowl, combine all dressing ingredients; mix well. Set aside.
Cook pasta as directed on package. Drain cooked pasta; rinse with cold water until cool.
In large bowl, combine beans, corn, salsa, tomatoes and cilantro.
Add cooked pasta and dressing to bean mixture; toss until well coated. Stir in half each of the cheese and tortilla chips. Place salad on large serving platter or in large serving bowl. Top with remaining cheese; garnish with remaining chips and avocado.