Chicken, Tomato, and Mozzarella Pasta Salad

I don’t know about you, but sometimes, in the middle of winter, I’m over it.  I’m tired of stews and soups, and braises and roasts.  I want something light and summery.  If nothing more than to remind myself that it will be here sooner than we think. 

This, of course, is helped by the fact that I subscribe to Donna Hay’s magazine.  I pay a ridiculous amount of money to get it shipped to my address in the US, but it is my one present to myself..well, that and my Kindle…oh, and my Ipod…oh and my Le Creuset Braiser…well, let’s just say I am very good to myself.  But you know, is that a bad thing?  I don’t think so.  That way no one else has to worry about making me happy.  I make myself happy.

Anyway, back to Donna Hay.  See, she is on the other side of the world, and when I am stuck in the middle of winter doldrums, she is skipping merrily through summer.  This pasta salad in issue #47 (Oct/Nov) was perfect!  Instead of fresh basil, I had some that I processed in the food processor with a little olive oil and then froze in cute little jars.  Just opening up the jar and taking a big breath of basil is enough to transport me back to summer. This is also great for using some store-bought chicken (I only used the breast portions, keeping the rest for another dish, and it was plenty).

Chicken, Tomato and Mozzarella Pasta Salad

  • 14 oz rigatoni
  • 3-4 pound store-bought barbecued chicken, skin off, shredded
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 9 oz cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup basil leaves, torn (or frozen, chopped)
  • 1 small white onion, sliced
  • 4 oz  buffalo mozzarella+, roughly torn
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • ¼ cup  olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar

    Cook pasta in a saucepan of salted boiling water for 10–12 minutes or until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water. Place the pasta, chicken, garlic, tomato, basil, onion, mozzarella, lemon rind, salt and pepper in a bowl.
    Place oil and vinegar in a bowl and whisk to combine. Spoon over the pasta and toss well to combine. Serves 4.

    This will be my entry for this week’s Presto Pasta Nights hosted by  Mrs Ergul Passion for Life .

  • Sharing is fun!Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

    Comments

    1. says

      It sounds and looks divine. I’m not sure I can eat it in the winter though. I think it will have to be just a bit warmer for me to really enjoy this. Otherwise, it’s just a tease.

    2. says

      We enjoy different chicken salads..I now have a new one up my sleeve..Yes..make yourself happy:) It helps in making others happy~Which comes first? Like the chicken and the egg!

    3. says

      The tomato mozzarella basil combination brings me back to summer as well. Can we be over this whole winter thing together? It’s driving me slightly insane.

    4. says

      So so so over winter. Although, I’m one of the few that could do without it all together. I use my outdoor grill even in sub-zero temps, just to remind me of summer.

      I usually have leftover rotisserie chicken in the frig, so this would be a snap to whip up – anything with cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella has to be good.

      You’re certainly making a pretty strong case for purchasing a subscription to Donna Hay.

    5. says

      Pam, this is a perfect pasta dish after all my ‘heavy’ Valentine’s dining! I think while eating it, I can dream of warmer days to come.

      Great recipe, thanks

    6. says

      This looks delicious. I will be trying this. I will be growing some basil this summer too. What I tried to root, didn’t do very well.

    7. says

      I make myself happy too! I’ve been known to hide purchases from my husband :O
      The Donna Hay recipes always look terrific.

    8. says

      Funny, I had to have a tomato and onion salad yesterday! And beer can chicken……….guess we are ready for Spring, huh?

    9. says

      Yummy, Pam. I made something similar the other day but added Parmesan and some black olives. Going to add mozzarella the next time!
      I love doing these pasta salads- you can use up whatever you have left in the fridge. I even had some whole wheat pasta, just to make me feel I was being a good girl!

    10. says

      Food really allows you to visit other seasons when you have had enough of the current one. Some how, it doesn’t work as well for me to visit winter in the summer. Great salad, I just picked up cherry tomatoes at the farmers market.
      Mimi

    11. says

      That looks refreshing and tasty right now! I make a Pasta salad for a guy that’s in a local cook book I contributed to.. It’s got everything but Kryptonite in it!

    12. says

      This sounds delicious! Here in this area of Oz, we’re ‘supposedly’ in summer, but the temps have been pretty darn low lately, and we’ve been getting lots of rain off and on. This meal would be perfect for those days that it’s “just in between’ being hot or cold!

    13. says

      I would love to subscribe to the Donna Hay magazine. My husband saw the price on the cover and just about died. When I told him about the price to subscribe, I got a resounding no.

      Lovely pasta salad Pam.
      Sam

    14. says

      What a gorgeous looking and summery sounding salad. It’s snowing here right now but because of your pasta salad post, I’m going to go put on my bikini and make snow angels.

      (I sometimes tell lies when I suffer from winter depression.)

    15. says

      These are just the flavors I love in summer, especially when I can walk out the front door and pick basil from my garden. It’s hard for me to buy herbs in winter; they never quite compare to the summer garden herbs. But for a taste of this salad, I just might have to!

    16. says

      What a gorgeous plate! Winters here are so long so such tasty reminders that summer will come someday help to make it more pleasant. It’s still mid-February, though, so I’ll need several servings!

    17. says

      OH MY! Does this ever look good! I’ve not been cooking too many pasta dishes lately and we’re having pasta tomorrow night for sure!

    18. says

      i’m glad you pamper yourself, pam. we all should, and if it means feasting on summer foods in the dead of winter, so be it. :)

    19. says

      Great post, thanks for sharing a bit of summer with those of us in the middle of a snow storm here in Halifax.

      And I couldn’t agree more…we must be good to ourselves! So we can be good to everyone else.

      Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.