What’s not to love about a quick and easy pasta salad? I had so much fun creating a pasta dish with a Mexican twist. Salsa, avocado, hot sauce and Cojita cheese give this a fun flair beyond classic picnic pasta salads.
I was curious about the meaning of Cinco de Mayo. Here is a definition “The history and significance of Cinco De Mayo (5th of May), which commemorates the victory of the Mexican Militia over the French Army at The Battle Of Puebla in 1862.”
If you are celebrating and entertaining a crowd for Cinco de Mayo or anytime, you will love this recipe. It is simple to prepare, very healthy and full of flavor. You can make as much or as little as you need. The measurements do not have to be precise. You add what you want and can easily make adaptations. It can be served at room temperature so it is great for outdoor BBQ’s, picnics, etc.
If you are celebrating with adults may I recommend a fruity margarita? What do you like to cook up for this fun holiday?
Fiesta Pasta with Avocado, Cojita, Salsa & Pepitas
Serves 4 (simple to adapt for smaller or larger crowds)
- 1/2 pound cooked Whole Wheat Pasta or gluten free pasta
- a few large peeled & cubed California Avocados
- good fruity Olive Oil (I like Roasted Garlic Olive Oil, Cilantro Oil would be great too.)
- a handful crumbled Cojita Cheese (I like Feta too)
- a handful of roasted Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds)
- a handful of chopped fresh Cilantro
- juice from 1 lime
- sliced Cherry Tomatoes (I used mini Heirloom Tomatoes)
- a handful of chopped Green Onions
- Smoked Paprika
- Garlic Salt
- Black Pepper
- Optional: kick up the heat with your favorite Hot Sauce
Cook your pasta. Drain and toss with some olive oil. Lightly spray or coat a small skillet with olive oil. Heat on medium heat. Add pepitas, season with some garlic salt and smoked paprika. Toast pepitas in a skillet for a few minutes until fragrant. Stir frequently and watch carefully so they do not burn. Remove pepitas from heat and allow to cool a bit. In a medium bowl, gently toss pasta with 1/2 of your cheese, pepitas, chopped avocados, cilantro and tomatoes. Also add a dash of black pepper, lime juice, smoked paprika and salt if needed.
When serving top pasta with salsa, more feta, the remainder of the avocado, pepitas & tomatoes. Sprinkle some cilantro and additional seasonings if desired. Best served at room temperature or slightly chilled.
Add your favorite lean protein for a full & well balanced meal. Anything from tofu to chicken breast to sirloin. Each choice would be yummy either placed on top or tossed into this pasta.