Creamy Latin Pasta Salad
- 1 pound rotini pasta (3/4 of a 16-ounce box)
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese or queso blanco
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 lime, juiced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup finely diced ham
- 1 orange bell pepper, seeded, ribbed, and chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded, ribbed, and chopped
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup peeled and chopped jicama
- 1/2 cup pimento stuffed olives
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, stir with a wooden spoon, and cook until tender but not mushy, about 10 minutes. Drain, place in a large bowl and set aside.
While the pasta cooks, combine the evaporated milk, oil, feta, cilantro, lime juice and some salt and pepper in a blender. Puree until the dressing is smooth and creamy.
Place the drained pasta in a large bowl. Add the ham, bell peppers, peas, onions, jicama and olives. Pour the dressing over the pasta and gently mix it into the salad. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours before serving.
Recipe courtesy of Ingrid Hoffmann, 2008