My graduate program held an end-of-the-year reception for graduates and family members and it was the job of the 1st and 2nd year grad students that
volunteered were suckered into preparing food and decorations for 250. This is dinner mind you. This was my first experience in catering and I LOVED it!
My faculty member, Dr. O, taught us how to make this wonderfully simple and addicting pasta dish that I still make to this day (it’s been 6 years since I first made this). The warm, nutty flavor comes from toasting the pine nuts, which are pricey but a little bit goes a long way.
It’s also great for feeding a crowd and a lunch idea (tastes great at room temperature).
Dr. O’s Chicken Pasta
4 skinless boneless chicken breasts, cooked and chopped into strips
1 jar (8.5 oz) of sun-dried tomatoes, julienned (Trader Joe’s)
1 cup of basil
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
¼ cup pine nuts
1/8 cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 package of tortellini pasta
Salt and pepper to season
- Boil pasta until al dente.
- Drain sun-dried tomatoes and set aside the oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes.
- Take stems off basil and chop into thin strips.
- Toast pine nuts on a baking sheet in the oven at 250F for about 5 minutes or when they brown (keep a close eye as they can easily burn).
- Mix pasta, tomatoes, basil, cheese, chicken, and pine nuts into a large mixing bowl.
- Pour 1/8 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup oil from sun-dried tomatoes, and minced garlic onto a pan over medium low heat until it boils. Immediately pour over pasta mixture and mix thoroughly.
- Season with salt and pepper accordingly.
- Serve and enjoy! Dish can be served at room temperature or warm.
I also recommend the sausage and veggie pasta for a meatier dish. For this Mother’s Day, I’ll be making lasagna for the first time (wish me luck!).
It was a big hit at my office potluck this past January. Check out the delectable spread.