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Soo I love pasta salad and lately I feel like anytime I make it, I always revert back to what I know and what I’m used to making which is usually basic Italian.  We were in the mood for a light pasta salad to go with our chicken tonight and I found the most amazing recipe from the fabulous ladies over at Our Best Bites.  This recipe is infused with all sorts of flavors, yummy veggies and the tossed cilantro-lime vinaigrette dressing is the best I’ve ever had!  This would be the perfect addition to any cookout or serve it for dinner for a completely satisfying meal.  I promise it won’t disappoint!  The great thing is this was so easy and quick to make and ended up yielding lots of leftovers…..if you can resist going back for seconds and thirds ;)   Hope you guys like it!
Southwest Pasta Salad

Yield: 12 servings

Recipe adapted from Our Best Bites

Ingredients

  • 1 box bowtie pasta (I used Barilla Plus 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
  • Dressing:
  • 6 Tbsp fresh lime juice (about 3 juicy limes)
  • 1/4 cup white wine or light 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)
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. Begin by cooking pasta per box directions. While water is boiling, prepare dressing.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Taste, add additional salt and pepper to taste. For best results, chill for one hour before serving. Serve with extra lime wedges if desired.

Nutritional Information

Serving Size: 1 cup • Calories: 265 • Fat: 13 g • Carbs: 26 g • Fiber: 3.5 g • Protein: 7 g • WW Points+: 7 pts

http://www.eat-yourself-skinny.com/2011/05/southwest-pasta-salad.html