Direct Your Dining: Summer Corn and Tomato Pasta Salad | Direct Energy Blog

Direct Your Dining: Summer Corn and Tomato Pasta Salad

Welcome to Direct Your Dining! This cooking series will introduce you to energy efficient recipes full of tips to keep your meals delicious without using every appliance in the kitchen. Preparing recipes with energy efficiency in mind at least once a week will make cooking a little easier, and may even help reduce your monthly electricity bill. Check in every week for a new recipe full of flavor and creativity that will surely impress your friends and family.

This week’s low-energy-use recipe features beautiful ears of corn on the cob that are in season and very inexpensive this time of year.

Direct Your Dining: Summer Corn and Tomato Pasta Salad | Direct Energy Blog
Time for a refreshing summer side dish!

Pasta salad dishes are a favorite for the summertime because they are cool, tasty, and easy to make. The only cooking required for this recipe is boiling noodles on the stove, and you can save even more energy by preparing the corn in the exact same pot with the pasta.

A great low-energy-use technique for preparing pasta on the stove is to use the hottest water possible from the sink when running it to use for boiling. Once the water starts boiling, add your salt and pasta as quickly as possible before putting the lid on top to trap in as much heat as possible so the water comes back up to a boil as fast as possible.

Once the water starts boiling again, turn the heat down to make sure the water doesn’t spill over the side of the pot. Once the pasta is a couple minutes from al dente, add the corn to the pot so it can quickly cook while the pasta finishes.

Direct Your Dining: Summer Corn and Tomato Pasta Salad | Direct Energy Blog
A perfect pasta salad for any of those proteins you toss on the grill this summer.

Every other step for this recipe is pure prep work, from whisking together a creamy dressing featuring coriander, fresh lime juice, and creamy sour cream, to chopping fresh cilantro and parsley and cutting the crisp corn off the cob.

This dish does deliver a nice kick from green pepper hot sauce, and it really complements the fresh lime, cilantro, and red onion. The amount used doesn’t add any heat to the recipe, just flavor, so feel free to add as much hot sauce as you prefer. Try up to 3 tablespoons for a more intense pepper flavor!

Summer Corn and Cherry Tomato Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

Direct Your Dining: Summer Corn and Tomato Pasta Salad | Direct Energy Blog
The key to this dish is making sure you cook the pasta correctly.
  • 12 oz. Bowtie pasta box/package, prepared
  • 3 Corn cobs
  • 1 Cherry tomatoes pint/container, cut in half
  • ½ c. Chopped cilantro
  • ¼ c. Chopped parsley
  • ¼ c. Red onions, finely diced
  • ½ Lime’s juice
  • ¼ tsp. Coriander
  • ½ tsp. Sea salt
  • ¼ tsp. Paprika
  • ¼ tsp. Black pepper
  • ½ tsp. Garlic powder
  • ½ c. Mayonnaise
  • ¼ c. Sour cream
  • ¼ c. Milk
  • 1-2 tbsp. Green pepper hot sauce
  • 4 oz. Queso fresco

Directions:

1) Shuck the corn from the husk and wash with hot water while removing and fibers.

Direct Your Dining: Summer Corn and Tomato Pasta Salad | Direct Energy Blog
It would also help to not over-blanch the corn.

2) Prepare pasta as directed on packaging. Add corn to boil with pasta for the last 3 minutes of cooking time.

Direct Your Dining: Summer Corn and Tomato Pasta Salad | Direct Energy Blog
Don’t let your pasta get too cooled off. You want it to be a little warm so it absorbs the dressing.

3) Drain the pasta and corn cobs. Let them cool to room temperature on the counter or place in refrigerator to cool quickly while prepping the other ingredients.

Direct Your Dining: Summer Corn and Tomato Pasta Salad | Direct Energy Blog
Look at all these bright colors!

4) Slice the cherry tomatoes in half. Chop the cilantro and parsley. Finely dice the red onion (very finely). Add everything to a large mixing bowl for later.

Direct Your Dining: Summer Corn and Tomato Pasta Salad | Direct Energy Blog
You can modify the flavor of this dressing with ease by varying the amount of hot sauce in play.

5) In a small mixing bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, lime’s juice, and milk to create the dressing. Add in the hot sauce and paprika, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and coriander. Whisk until smooth.

Direct Your Dining: Summer Corn and Tomato Pasta Salad | Direct Energy Blog
Even more color!

6) Cut the corn off the cob. Add it to the big bowl with the tomatoes, onions, and herbs. Toss these ingredients together.

Direct Your Dining: Summer Corn and Tomato Pasta Salad | Direct Energy Blog
Please ensure that you evenly distribute the dressing throughtout the pasta and other ingredients.

7) Add the cooled pasta and dressing to the vegetables. Toss until the pasta and vegetables are completely coated.

Direct Your Dining: Summer Corn and Tomato Pasta Salad | Direct Energy Blog
Cheese really can make everything better.

8) Top with crumbled queso fresco and serve.

Direct Your Dining: Summer Corn and Tomato Pasta Salad | Direct Energy Blog
Enjoy!

This recipe should make for a wonderful side dish perfect for any backyard party this summer!

Check back in every week for more Direct Your Dining recipes to help reduce your energy use in the kitchen while getting creative with delicious dishes!

Recipe and Images by Stacie Morgan

About 

Stacie is a Texas A&M animal science graduate using her education and passion for food to get creative in the kitchen. She previously worked in business before becoming a mom to a special little boy. She's excited to share recipes her family enjoys at home - and they may even help you save energy in the kitchen.