In a large pot over high heat bring heavily salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 12 minutes. Drain the cooked pasta and place in a large salad bowl.
In a blender add the Ranch dressing and cilantro leaves only. Purée until blended and set aside.
Add the dressing, pepper and sliced vegetables to the cooled pasta and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour to chill.
Toss the salad again and season to taste. Serve with marinated red onion slices, cotija cheese crumbles and pumpkin seeds.
You can use freshly grilled cut off 1 or 2 ears of corn, canned or frozen.
Rinse and twist all the leaves off the bunch of cilantro, discard the stems. This should be a little over 1 cup or 1 1/2 cup total.
One of this salad’s ingredients, the sliced red onion in rice wine vinegar, is treated to a quick pickle prior for the salad. I like to keep this mixture on hand in my refrigerator for different salads and as a garnish on Mexican dishes. Simply thinly slice a red onion, cover it with rice wine vinegar and keep in your refrigerator. For this I would suggest allowing the onions to marinate at least 30 minutes if you don’t have any on hand.