Don't you just love pasta salads? I don't know what it is about them, but if I see
one at a potluck, I am on it faster than a fly on poop.
Okay, uh, that wasn't the best analogy. First rule of food blogging:
Do not mention poop on a food blog.
Pasta just seems to call to that basic part of us that wants to be nourished. And this recipe does not disappoint. It is creamy without being heavy and the touch of basil brightens all the flavors and makes it so darn good.
I like to call this pasta salad my "New Mom, Potluck, New Neighbor, Work Celebration" Pasta Salad. Okay, okay, I don't really call it that but it is certainly my go-to pasta salad for all occasions.
1 box (12 oz.) Tri Color Rotini Pasta
2 grilled chicken breasts, diced (optional)
2-3 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 can (2.25 oz.) sliced black olives, drained
1/2 Red Onion, diced (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
4 tbsp. Basil Pesto (Fresh or Jarred)
3/4 cup Creamy Caesar Dressing
2 teaspoons House seasoning (equal parts salt, pepper and garlic powder)
You can buy Basil Pesto already prepared to save time.
It is usually found where the jarred pasta sauces are located.
Cook and drain pasta according to package directions.
Pour pasta into a medium-large bowl.
Mix together Caesar dressing with Basil Pesto. Pour over warm pasta
and coat throughly.
Add the rest of the ingredients and toss.
Cover and place into refrigerator until ready to eat.
Cook's Notes: If you're chicken breasts are very large, you can probably get away with only using one. Feel free to use whatever pasta your family prefers, you can go with regular or whole wheat. It all goes well with this recipe.
Also, you can really make this recipe as easy or as hard as you like. You can make your own Basil Pesto and your own Caesar Dressing to really dress this thing up. But if all you have time for is the bottled stuff, it will still turn out insanely good!
I love using grilled chicken breasts that have been marinated in this stuff right here. I usually grill a bunch of chicken. And then the leftovers get added to this pasta salad. Wowsers!
Recipe source: modified from Mel's Kitchen Cafe