There was a time when every Sunday I would make myself a big bowl of tabbouleh, pasta salad or some cold succotashy sort of salad that would serve as my lunch for the week. I would spoon some in a small plastic container and maybe throw in a nice little grilled chicken sandwich and stuff it all into a brown paper bag on which I scrawled my name. Come lunch time I'd slice the sandwich and arrange it and the salad on a plate. All my co-workers were jealous, but then, isn't that the goal?
This recipe was one of the best and most interesting pasta salads that I've made. I think orecchiette is such a cute little pasta (farfalle and rotini are a little pedestrian and don't even get me started on wagon wheels). It's spicy thanks to the chipotle and full of unexpected ingredients like lima beans and tomatillos. It would be great at a bar-b-que or for any function where you are expected to bring a dish.
1 pound orecchiette, cooked al dente
2 yellow peppers, grilled and julienned
1 red onion, finely sliced
6 tomatillos, quartered
1 cup fresh corn kernels
1 cup frozen baby lima beans, thawed
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 canned chipotle pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
Place cooked pasta in a large bowl, add peppers, onions, tomatillo, corn and lima beans.
Place vinegar and chipotle peppers in a blender and blend until smooth. Slowly add olive oil until emulsified and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Toss the salad with the dressing and add cilantro.