Southwest Pasta Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb bowtie pasta
  • 1 14-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced or about 3/4 cup of halved cherry tomatos
  • 1 large red, yellow or orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/2 cup frozen fresh corn
  • zest from 2 limes
  • optional: 8 oz diced cooked chicken
  • 1/2 cup queso fresco or cotija cheese (could substitute grated jack, cheddar or pepperjack)

Ingredients – Dressing

  • 6 tbsp fresh lime juice (about 3 juicy limes)
  • 1/4 cup white wine or rice vinegar
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp kosher/sea salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro

Directions

  1. Boil pasta in salted water until cooked, preparing dressing while this is happening.
  2. Zest limes and place zest in large salad bowl.
  3. Place lime juice, vinegar, garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt and sugar in a blender.
  4. Process until smooth.
  5. With motor running slowly, add the oil in a steady stream until incorporated.
  6. Add the cilantro and pulse so it gets broken up, but some pieces still remain in tact.
  7. When pasta is done cooking, drain and rinse immediately with cold water to cool.
  8. Place pasta in large salad bowl with lime zest.
  9. Add black beans, tomatoes, diced pepper, green onions, corn and chicken if desired.
  10. Toss with dressing.
  11. Taste, and add additional salt and pepper to taste.
  12. For best results, chill for 1 hour before serving.
  13. Right before serving, sprinkle cheese on top.
  14. Serve with extra lime wedges if desired.

Courtesy of Our Best Bites

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