Southwest Pasta Salad

  • 1 box bowtie wheat pasta
  • 1 (14 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced or about 3/4 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 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
  • 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 or sea salt
  • 2 tsp. sugar (add a touch more if your limes are extra sour/bitter)
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro

Begin by cooking pasta per box directions.  While water is boiling, prepare dressing.

Place the lime juice, vinegar, garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt and sugar in a blender.  (Basically everything except the cilantro and oil)  Process until smooth.  With the motor running slowly, add the oil in a steady stream until incorporated.  Add the cilantro and pulse so it gets broken up, but some pieces still remain in tact. 

When pasta is done cooking, drain and rinse immediately with cold water to cool.  Place the pasta in a large salad bowl and toss with lime zest.  Add black beans, tomatoes, diced peppers, green onions, corn (no need to thaw corn), and chicken if desired.  Toss with dressing.  Taste, and additional salt and pepper to taste.  For best results, chill for one hour before serving.  Serve with extra lime wedges if desired and enjoy!