Monday, April 30, 2012

Southwest Pasta Salad

I needed to bring a pasta salad to our small group and I was tired of always making the one pasta salad I always make.  It is tasty and all, but variety is the spice of life!  A southwest pasta salad sounds right up my alley and this turned out just perfect.  Plenty of veggies (though I think next time I may use more corn) and the dressing was very flavorful and light.  Bill, who will try anything I make but doesn't necessarily mean he likes everything, said he LOVED it more than once.  Which I definitely took as a sign to make this a standby.

Southwest Pasta Salad
From: Our Best Bites

Prep Time: 30 min

1 box bowtie pasta
1 14oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 roma tomatoes, diced (or 3/4 cup halved cherry tomatoes)
1 Large bell pepper, diced (red, yellow, or orange)
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup frozen corn
zest from 2 limes
1/2 cup Queso Fresco or Cotija Cheese
Optional: 8oz diced cooked chicken

6 Tbsp fresh lime juice (about 3 juicy limes)
1/4 cup white wine vinegar 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 or sea salt
2 tsp sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro

1.  Boil Pasta in Salted water according to directions.

2. Zest limes and place zest in a large salad bowl.

3. To prepare dressing:  Place the lime juice, vinegar, garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt, and sugar in blender or food processor.  Process until smooth.  With motor running slowly, add oil in a steady stream until incorporated.  Add cilantro and pulse so it gets broken up, but some pieces still remain in tact.

4. When pasta is done cooking, drain and rinse immediately with cold water to cool.  Place pasta in the large bowl with lime zest.  Add black beans, tomatoes, diced pepper, green onions, corn (no need to thaw corn), and chicken if desired.  Toss with dressing.  Taste, add additional salt and pepper to taste.  For best results, chill fro 1 hour before serving.  Right before serving, sprinkle cheese on top.  Serve with extra lime wedges if desired.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails