“It needs more red,” Jared concludes, after a long, critical appraisal of the dish. We get out some red kidney beans. “Now black,” he says. We open the black beans.
1 cup uncooked small pasta, (shells, elbows, fusilli, whatever)
1 540-mL can mixed beans, (or red kidney beans, romano beans or chickpeas)
1 341-mL can corn niblets, or cooked corn cut from the cob (1 1/2 cups)
1/2 medium green sweet pepper, chopped
1/2 medium red sweet pepper, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped (red ones are nice)
1 cup salsa, (mild, medium or hot)
2 tbsp olive oil, or vegetable oil
2 tbsp vinegar
salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup cheddar, or Monterey jack, shredded
Cook the pasta just until tender but not mushy, Drain thoroughly, then rinse under cold running water and drain again. Dump into a large bowl.
Open the cans of beans and corn and empty them into a strainer. Rinse under cold water and drain thoroughly. Dump into the bowl with the pasta. Hand your child a wooden spoon, and have him gently mix the beans and pasta while you chop the peppers and onion.
Add the chopped peppers and onion, salsa, oil and vinegar. Stir carefully – you don’t want to mash up the beans – then taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper if you need it – the salsa may be spicy enough.
Chill, then just before serving, toss again festoon the top with the shredded cheese.
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