Pasta salad with an Italian flare with a little help from pene pasta, chicken, olives, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, mozzarella pearls, fresh basil, Italian dressing, and Parmesan shavings. It's substantial enough to have as a meal.
Hello there! It looks as if spring is going to arrive after all. The snow has finally started to melt, so we are making some progress. And with the time change this weekend, I can still see glimmer of lights at 7:00 PM. Hooray!! Unfortunately, we have not weathered this winter without some casualties. Our next door neighbor has been hospitalized for over two weeks after he fell off the ladder while cutting down a large tree branch with my husband and our son. He suffered major injuries on his legs and has a broken thumb and will undergo a second surgery this week. His prognosis is good, thank goodness, but he has a long road to recovery. On a less severe front, both my husband and I have wiped out on ice in our yard, and our kids have had near misses driving on icy roads. We are hoping the worst is over and are SOOOOO READY for spring!
I am sharing my easy go-to pasta salad with you today. It has an Italian flare with pene pasta, chicken, olives, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, mozzarella pearls, fresh basil, Italian dressing, and Parmesan shavings. This dish assembles quickly, thanks to store bought rotisserie chicken and salad dressing. I use Newman's Own Family Recipe Italian dressing (not a paid endorsement). It's my favorite bottled dressing—so flavorful and cheesy. If you have a favorite brand, use that, or make your own. I'm not there to stop you. But if you haven't tried Newman's Own, give it a whirl...the man knew how to make salad dressing!
Okay, confession time. The pasta salad you see directly above is missing something. Can you guess what it is? ...Anyone...? Yup, the mozzarella pearls! Once again, I was trying to rush through the assembly and photo shoot because I had a long to-do list, and it wasn't until I was cleaning up from the shoot when I realized the mozzarella was still in the fridge. Well, it turned into a longer photoshoot than I had anticipated because I opted to do a second shoot so that there would be some pictures with the cheese in them. However, I didn't take any wide shots the second time, so you get to see the mozz-less one from the first session. It still looks delish though, doesn't it?
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