Thursday, August 07, 2008

A Mexican Pasta Salad

This was one of my first attempts to make a Rachael Ray dish. Technically it's called Mac & Jack salad or something atrocious like that. I took her main recipe and made it my own. Hers called for the following:
1 pound macaroni elbows or cavatappi, corkscrew-shaped hollow pasta
1 cup frozen corn, defrosted
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
4 ribs celery, chopped
Black pepper
1 8-ounce brick pepper Jack cheese, diced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (eyeball it)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 cup store-bought tomatillo salsa (mild, green) or chipotle salsa (hot, smoky red)
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves or flat leaf parsley, chopped

I used half macaroni and half campanelle, because I had half a box left and wanted to finish it. I also added a can of pinto beans (more protein) and used canned corn. I had a leftover jar of tomatillo salsa to use up as well, which was the main impetus for this meal. I am trying to save money and use what I already have in my pantry as well as use cheaper ingredients. This means more pasta, beans and rice, etc.
It also means that I had this meal stretch for two dinners and two lunches for both myself and John. Not too shabby!
I honestly didn't like it much the night I originally made it, but the longer it sat the better it got! I was surprised.

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