Thursday, March 22, 2012

Balsamic Chicken, Tomato, and Spinach Pasta Salad

To be honest, I'm not a big fan of pasta salad, but I'm a huge fan of the ingredients in this.  I found this recipe on Pinterest a couple of days ago.  We're going to be moving in a few weeks and we're trying to clean out the freezer before we move.  We just happen to have some cheese tortellini in the freezer that I've been wanting to get rid of. 

The case:
Balsamic Chicken, Tomato, and Spinach Pasta Salad (adapted from Multiply Delicious)
  • 1 (20-ounce) package cheese tortellini 
  • 1 pound  skinned and boned chicken breasts, diced 
  •  1 ½  cup  Newman’s Own Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing (divided) 
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  •  Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  •  2 cups firmly packed fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups fresh cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1.  Place chicken in a zip-lock bag and pour 1 cup of balsamic vinaigrette in bag with chicken.  Marinate for at least 2 hour, but best if marinated overnight.  Take chicken out of zip-lock bag and discard marinade. 
2. In a grill pan, grill chicken breasts, about 5 to 6 minutes on each side until cooked through. Dice chicken into small bites.  Meanwhile boil tortellini according to package directions.
3. Whisk together remaining ½ cup balsamic vinaigrette dressing and mustard in a small bowl.
4. Drain pasta and transfer to a large bowl and drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil.  Salt and pepper to taste.
5. Toss together pasta, chicken, balsamic mixture, spinach, basil, tomatoes, and cheese. Serve immediately, or, if desired, cover and chill 1 hour before serving.

The ruling: 

This dish is out of this world wonderful!!!!!  Easily in the top 10 recipes I've ever made.  All the flavors mesh together in perfect harmony.  Okay, that sounds really corny but it really explains how I'm feeling.  Is it bad food sings to me?  Anyway, this recipe is perfect!  This recipe is the reason I blog and am so interested in trying new things.  How else would I ever find these little gems?  I'm going to use this chicken for a lot of pasta dishes to come.  

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