Saturday, April 24, 2010

Aunt Becky's Pasta Florentine

One of the best things about marrying into my husband's family was gaining two new families! And one of the best things about his family is Aunt Becky. Aunt Becky in one word: fabulous! Aunt Becky is one of the most vivacious, fun loving women I've ever had the pleasure to know and now she is my family too! Aunt Becky helped to host a bridal shower for me where I received a huge cookbook filled with recipes from all the women on both sides of my husbands' family. It was a gift I will always treasure - and a gift that keeps on giving because I am able to bring all these wonderful recipes into my own home.

I was so excited that this Pasta Florentine recipe of Aunt Becky's was included in the cookbook because I've eaten it a few times and just love it! It's a wonderful salad for large get togethers because it makes such a large portion. When I made it, I halved the recipe and it still made a huge batch. I love the combination of spinach, chicken, and pasta. The cherry tomatoes, red bell peppers and onions add a lovely pop of flavor in every bite. I am not sure what was wrong with me when I went shopping, but I bought penne pasta instead of bow tie like the recipe calls for. Of course the flavor was still the same, but next time I make it, I will be sure to use the correct pasta! 

Pasta Florentine
Special thanks and lots of love to Aunt Becky

6 chicken breasts (3 lbs) cooked and cubed
24 ounces of bow tie pasta, cooked
1 pound fresh spinach, torn into pieces 
2 large red bell peppers, chopped
1 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1 small bunch of fresh herbs (tarragon, basil, and parsley)
cherry tomatoes
2 cups mayonnaise
2/3 cups olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup Asiago or Parmesan cheese

Combine chicken, pasta, peppers, onion, spinach and herbs in a large bowl. In a small bowl whip together mayo, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pour dressing over the chicken/pasta ingredients. Top with cheese and cherry tomatoes. 

Note: this recipe serves 8 - 12 and can be made ahead. You can also substitute shrimp for chicken. 

I also wanted to note that for Christmas my hubby gave me an Aerogarden and I use it all the time. The one I have came with Basil, Thyme, and Chives but there are several other options. I love that I now have fresh herbs in my own kitchen. For this Pasta Florentine recipe I didn't have to buy any basil because I have some growing on my kitchen counter. Just wanted to give this a plug because it's a great little herb garden for those of us who live where we don't have a yard to plant our own, or for those of us who live in climates where we can't have fresh herbs year round. :)

1 comment:

  1. This looks delicious! Hope to try it soon. Also the Aerogarden is a great idea, I should look into getting one for our house. I love fresh herbs, but we live in a townhouse where I can't plant my own garden in our yard.



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