South of the Border
Mexican inspired dishes are often overlooked when it comes to pasta, but they're a hit at any summer time party. Mexican pasta salads are versatile, and can be served as a side dish at dinner in place of rice and beans, or as a picnic treat with some homemade corn chips. Start with the basics -- onion, cilantro, roasted red pepper, corn and tomatoes. Then take a can of black bean, drain and rinse them, and add this to the mix along with the small, shaped pasta of your choice. Spice it up with some diced jalapeños and habaneros, and add some powdered cumin and chili powder. If you want a smoky spice, chop up a chipotle pepper. When it comes to all the hot peppers, you may want to remove most of the seeds unless you have a high tolerance for spicy heat. Mix all of these ingredients and chill for a winning dish. You can also add meat, like grilled chicken or spicy chorizo.