Pasta Salad In a Pinch

This recipe has been one of my favorites for a long time. The flavor combination of the beans, bell peppers, pasta and lime works wonderfully, creating a dish that’s both tasty and nutritious. It’s also incredibly versatile (score!), making it a great accompaniment to other foods, or even a satisfying light meal on its own. As a double bonus, it’s very quick to throw together. Pressed for time? This is my go to recipe to bring to a potluck or just to enjoy ourselves. When I first made it for my husband, he devoured it!

The story behind this salad is that the original recipe actually calls for couscous, rather than pasta. But not just any couscous. We prefer to use Israeli pearl couscous for its texture, but sadly that isn’t available here. Time to improvise! So I wondered how the recipe would work if I simply replaced the couscous with macaroni. Turns out, it’s great! I’m posting the recipe both ways here, so that you can choose whichever you like best. Enjoy!



Mixed Bean & Pasta Salad

Yield: 12 large servings 

Ingredients

200 g (7 oz) of uncooked macaroni or 1 cup of uncooked couscous

1 1/4 cups of chicken or vegetable broth (only if using couscous)

3 tbs of olive oil

2 tbs of lime juice

1 tsp of red wine vinegar

1/2 tsp of cumin

2 green onions, finely chopped (optional)

1 small red bell pepper, diced

1 small green bell pepper, diced

1/4 cup of fresh parsley, minced

1 cup of frozen corn, defrosted

1 14 oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained

1 14 oz can of red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

Salt and pepper to taste


Directions

Cook the pasta in salted water until it is al dente. Drain and toss with a little extra olive oil to prevent sticking. Set aside to cool.

Or

In a small pot, bring the broth to a boil, add the couscous and remove from the heat. Set aside for 5 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Fluff with a fork to remove any lumps.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, red wine vinegar and cumin. With the exception of the couscous/pasta and salt and pepper, add all the remaining ingredients and toss to coat thoroughly.

Finally, add the couscous or pasta and toss to incorporate. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy warm or cold.


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