Southwestern Pasta Salad

I’m not going to lie.  This one is super spicy.  Of course, you could always tone in down on the spice level and it would be equally delicious – I just happen to love heat.  As a warning though, if you follow the recipe exactly as written, you will be needing a glass of water.

This is another make-ahead recipe.  The dish can be mostly assembled up to 3 days in advance.

To make this fire-breathing creation, you will be needing the following items:

Step 1:  Boil Water.  OK, I’ll make it a little more complicated…. Throw the pasta in and cook it according to the instructions on the box.  Once completed, drain in a colander and rinse until cool.

Meanwhile, combine the shallot, 3 tablespoons of the lime juice, vegetable oil, chipotles (this is where the heat comes from – if you want to tone down the spiciness, this is the ingredient to cut back on), garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.

Toss the rinsed pasta salad with the shallot mixture, then stir in the celery, scallions, and cilantro.

If you want to not serve this dish the same day you make it, at this point you should refrigerate the pasta salad until chilled, about 3 hours.  Before serving, toss with the mayo, milk and lime juice.

If you want to make this ahead, at this point cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to three days.  Do not add the last 3 ingredients until you are ready to serve.  When you are ready to serve, stir in the mayo, milk, lime juice and check to see if you need to re-season with salt and pepper.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of elbow macaroni or pasta of your choice
  • 1 large shallot, minced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 5 tablespoons juice (about 5 limes)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (you can find this in the International Foods Aisle at your grocery store in the Hispanic or Mexican area)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 medium celery rib, minced
  • 3 scallions, sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups of mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup of milk
Serves 12 to 14 (please note that I have doubled the recipe in photos)
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen: The Best Make-Ahead Recipe
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Categories: Pasta, Recipes, Salads

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