KIDNEY BEAN BABY SHELL PASTA SALAD

KIDNEY BEAN BABY SHELL PASTA SALAD

White and red kidney beans combined with baby shell pasta, sweet onion and pepper strips. Tossed with a maple mustard tarragon dressing. Wow! Wow!

Makes 13 cups

2 fresh green peppers and 1 sweet red pepper, cored; cut each end to end into 6 segments, then crosswise into 1/4 inch wide strips

1 lg. sweet onion; cut off ends, peel, cut into quarters, then cut each quarter into 1/8 inch thick quarter rings

2/3 lb. dried baby shell pasta (estimate the amount) cooked in liberally salted, boiling water till tender; drain and rinse under cold water till cold

19 oz. can cannellini beans (white kidney beans), rinsed and drained well to remove all thick liquid

15.5 oz. can red kidney beans, rinsed well and drained

freshly ground black pepper

Dressing:

1 c. corn oil

1/2 c. white vinegar

1/4 c. Balsamic vinegar

1/3 c. sugar

1/3 c. grade A amber pure maple syrup

1 t. salt, plus to taste

2 t. onion powder

2 t. dried tarragon

1/2 t. ground allspice

1/3 c. prepared yellow mustard

Prep veggies and cook pasta. Place veggies, pasta and beans in large mixing bowl or pot. Sprinkle with lots of freshly ground black pepper, stir and set aside.

Place all dressing ingredients in blender container, and blend till smooth. Pour over salad ingredients, stir well to coat. Adjust for salt and pepper.

The sooner you serve this salad after you assemble it, the better.

Notes: Take this salad to any pot luck supper or picnic, or serve on any buffet and listen for the oohs and ahhs.

We don’t always need to use the whole pound of pasta in a recipe, just because that’s how it comes packaged.

The dressing doesn’t have a strong maple flavor; you’d need an actual maple extract flavoring for that. The maple is subtle, while adding smooth texture and complexity of flavor, making this an extra special dressing.

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