Friday, July 31, 2009

Italian Penne Pasta Salad

Oh my, this last week seems like a whirlwind!! We are getting ready for my Mother-in-laws birthday party this weekend (you'd think I was inviting the queen the way I'm acting. Oh, wait - I AM inviting the queen!! LOL!!), I've got the last push of my decluttering/organizing going, housecleaning I didn't do during swim team championships, and sadly, we had an unexpected death last week. A close friend of my husband's and business associated was killed last Sunday in a motorcycle accident. His children were friends with my children and they had gone to baseball games together. Our entire family was devastated. So with all this, I just haven't been my same "bloggy" self - sorry about that!!
I did make the My Girl Paula! Basil Chicken, but my heart wasn't in it and I don't think mine turned out very good. It got an "alright" from the family, but they were pretty down too, so maybe that was more the issue. After looking around at all the photos (major yum!!) of everyone's chicken, I think I'll have to give it another try. Not like that recipe is very "diet" friendly, though!! ;)
So, at my last post I said I would share my Italian Penne Pasta Salad. This one is Tried N True!! It is a favorite of my husband and his entire office staff. I've been known to make it for them when they are on a deadline and have to eat lunch in (heave forbid!!). I suppose the highest compliment is when they say it's good enough to sell in a fancy restaurant! I personally think it's better than restaurant food!!
I made this last Wednesday for my son's swim team awards banquet. You know the drill - People with last names ending in A-K bring a side dish. People with last names ending in L-Z bring a dessert. Seriously, I've been a side dish person my whole life!! I might just get daring and switch ranks one day on a whim!! LOL! I love bringing this dish because it makes a ton (which has never stopped us from eating it all), and it always gets requests for a recipe. Even last Thursday I got an e-mail from the coach's wife asking for the recipe (how cool is that!?!). I like to make it with my favorite chicken marinade if I remember to start a day or two ahead. In this case I was pressed for time, so I used my second favorite marinade and it turned out fantastic. This recipe comes from the Marzetti Salad Dressing website. Marzetti's is headquarted here in Columbus, so it's a popular brand at the grocery. If you are unable to get the same brand, look for a creamy Asiago dressing.

Italian Penne Pasta Salad

1 bottle Marzetti Asiago Peppercorn Salad Dressing

1 lb penne pasta, cooked, cooled

1 1/2 lb grilled chicken breasts

8 oz Feta cheese, crumbled

16 oz Kalamata olives, pitted and halved (or sliced)

1 t oregano or Italian seasoning

6 sundried tomatoes, packed in oil - rinsed and chopped

2 medium roasted sweet red peppers from a jar, sliced thin

Begin with 1 cup of salad dressing, and combine with all the rest of the ingredients. Stir to coat. If pasta salad seems too dry, add more salad dressing. Serve and enjoy!!

***Tomorrow's Post: Dried Fruit Scones***


  1. I'm so sorry to hear about your family friend :( My condolescences (not sure how to spell it) go out to your and your family. Sounds like you have been super busy since the last time you posted. I'm always up for a recipe that has chicken and pasta in it :) Sounds delish!

  2. I'm glad you are back to being "bloggy" again, sorry to hear about your friend's death. How incredibly sad! There's nothing like cooking to cheer you up. This salad looks SO delicious!

  3. So sorry to hear about your friend. What a tragedy. I didn't like the chicken either. Your pasta salad looks delicious.