One of the things I love about writing here is how differently you all respond. You say yes, these straightforward recipes are just what my kitchen needs, while you, over there, you dig the more esoteric recipes; chocolate-basil torte and tomato sorbet, all the way, you say. X wants side dishes, Y wants more main course ideas.
I love you all, because you reflect my many different kitchen selves, on different days.
In my book, pasta salad tends toward the easy, mainstream side of the spectrum. But this one has secrets.
I just turned in an article on how to sneak vegetables into adults’ diets. You know, how to trick your Sig. O. the same way you might trick a four-year-old, by slipping things in and hoping they go down the hatch undetected.
So go ahead: feed this to your broccoli-hater. Your whole wheat-hater. See what happens.
Oh, and by the way, the new flax and multigrain pasta at Trader Joe’s is superb.
Sneaky Chicken Pasta Salad (PDF)
Recipe 238 of 365
You can substitute a chicken from your own oven and homemade pesto, of course, but if you’re trying to get as many nutrients into a certain someone in as little time as possible, use the rotisserie bird and pre-made pesto. And if your audience is a little less picky, add chopped Sungold tomatoes, goat cheese or feta, or any other vegetables popular at your house.
TIME: 20 minutes
MAKES: 6 to 8 servings
2 cups broccoli florets
8 ounces (1 cup) basil pesto
1 pound whole wheat fusilli (or other small pasta)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 store-bought rotisserie chicken, skin removed, meat shredded
Put a large pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta.
Fill a small saucepan with about an inch of water, bring to a boil, and add the broccoli. Steam for about 5 minutes, or until tender, then set aside to drain.
Transfer the pesto to a food processor, add the broccoli, and whirl until completely smooth.
Cook the pasta according to package instructions, and drain. Transfer to a big bowl and toss with the broccoli pesto, olive oil, and shredded chicken. Serve warm or cold.