Monday, October 5, 2015

Caesar Pasta Salad

When school first started last month, Kenzie and I had grand plans to make tons of salads to bring for lunches.  No leftovers for us - just salads.  Probably in mason jars.  And fresh fruit and huge jugs of water maybe with a few sprigs of mint and lemon slices.

Real life now that we've been back at the grind for over a month?  Well let's just say my lunch today consisted of a store-bought granola bar, a pear, and some leftover lentil dal (recipe coming!).  Water, minus the mint and lemon.  No mason jar to be found.  And that's okay.  Leftovers are delicious and I don't even like mint that much.

But that first week, with our overzealous salad makings, we stumbled upon this salad.  Imagine combining caesar salad with pasta salad, and voila: you have caesar pasta salad.  There's everything from croutons and tomatoes and romaine lettuce to penne and, if you choose, chicken (I left it out, of course).  You make your own caesar dressing, too, complete with anchovies and everything.  Or, if you're freaked out by that like me, you can leave them out and just double the Worcestershire sauce.  Don't worry, the dressing is super flavorful without it.  I also swapped out the mayonnaise for Greek yogurt, as I always do.

The end result is a creamy, tasty pasta salad that reminds you vaguely of caesar salad but is way more fun.  I was a little worried at how the leftovers would be for our lunches, but it was still good one day later (and that was all that was left).  I am not sure how long the lettuce would stay good with the dressing, but I think the pasta helps by absorbing a lot of the extra moisture.  Perfect for a good lunch - and nothing makes your work day better than a great lunch waiting for you all morning, am I right?


caesar pasta salad
from Spicy Southern Kitchen
serves 4-6 as a main dish or 6 - 8 as a side

1 cup mayonnaise or Greek yogurt
1/3 cup sour cream
1 large clove garlic, pressed
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 anchovies, finely minced (or substitute for an extra teaspoon Worcestershire sauce)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 pound penne pasta, cooked until al dente and rinsed with cool water
6 large leaves Romaine lettuce, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes
4 green onions, green parts sliced
1/2 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 grilled chicken breasts, diced (optional)
1 1/2 cups croutons


1) In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise through the Worcestershire sauce.

2) Toss half of the dressing with the pasta and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

3) Mix in the remaining ingredients, including the remaining dressing.  Serve.

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