This has become my kids’ favorite meal. I made it last night and they said, “You should make this every week, Mama.”
Of course, if I made it every week it would no longer be their favorite meal. So, I’ll save it in my bag-o-tricks for those days when I really don’t have time to cook and know that I have a sure-fire winner for dinner in spite of no time.
Seriously, this takes no more than 30 minutes to prepare. And it tastes like something that took waaaaaayyyy longer – or maybe came from a fancy restaurant.
The original recipe came from Cook’s Country Magazine. One of my favorite magazines. That and it’s sister publication, Cook’s Illustrated. LOVE those magazines. I’ve never cooked a bad meal that I’ve found in those pages.
The little one says she loves the combination of warm and cool. The big one loves the wilted lettuce and chicken together. I just love it all. It’s a perfect pasta dish. And it’s even good the next day as a cold salad.
Seriously. Try this. You won’t regret it.
Chicken Caesar Pasta
1 pound pasta (fusilli, cavatappi, etc.) pasta
Salt & pepper
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (shredded, I use the fancy shreds, not the grated stuff)
2 Tbs lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced (or 2 tsp jarred minced garlic)
6 Tbs olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 c balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing
2 romaine lettuce hearts, halved lengthwise through core (do not cut core off)
- Marinate the chicken breasts in the balsamic vinaigrette for at least 30 minutes.
- Make the Caesar dressing. (see below)
- Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large stockpot. Salt generously.
- Add pasta and cook until al dente (about 8 minutes)
- Pour off pasta into a colander and rinse with cool water. Set aside in a large bowl, ready for the other ingredients when they’re ready.
- While pasta is cooking, heat your grill. Cut chicken breasts into smaller “tender-sized” pieces. This will allow them to cook faster on the grill without drying out.
- When grill is hot, cook the chicken.
- Just before the chicken is finished cooking, lay the romaine cut side down onto the grill. Cook for about 1-2 minutes per side until slightly charred.
- Bring chicken and lettuce to a cutting board. Tent chicken with foil while you chop the lettuce. Place cut lettuce in with the pasta.
- Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. Place in the pasta.
- Toss the chicken-pasta mixture with the Caesar dressing, mixing ingredients thoroughly.
- Sprinkle with some leftover parmesan cheese and DEVOUR.
This is truly the best homemade Caesar dressing. I can hardly stand bottled Caesar dressing after tasting this. Spoiled me forever.
In a blender or food processor, blend the mayonnaise, parmesan, lemon juice, garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper. Slowly add the olive oil until incorporated. Set aside until ready to top the pasta.
*original Cooks’ Country recipe can be found here.