The pasta salads I made in college used nothing more than jarred pesto and halved cherry tomatoes. I’m happy my cooking has evolved into this kind of recipe, because it makes use of the summer produce you shouldn’t miss, and offers a variety of textures of flavors to keep every bite interesting. A note on cooking the pasta: A cold salad is the only circumstance under which I recommend rinsing noodles in cold water to stop the cooking. —nicolecooks
1 1/2 cups
Extra-virgin olive oil
ears corn, shucked
Salt and freshly cracked pepper
poblano peppers, seeds and removed removed, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 and spread the pepitas evenly on a baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until slightly puffed and golden.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the orzo. Cook 6 to 7 minutes, or until al dente; drain. Rinse under cool water to stop the cooking before returning to the pot.
While the pasta cooks, add a turn of oil to a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the corn, cumin, chili pepper, and pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the corn is slightly charred. Pour into the pot with the pasta. Add more oil, then cook the poblano peppers until tender and charred in places; add to the pasta.