Friday, October 17, 2008

Pasta Something with Asparagus and Artichokes

Here is a pasta recipe that my mother-in-law printed from online the last time she was down to visit. The name isn't printed on the paper, so I don't know the name. You can make up your own name for it. :) I have this recipe several times with a few variations of what I want to add to it (balsamic vinegar instead of a dressing, extra bacon, add can of diced tomatoes, etc.), leaving out what I don't have(asparagus).
Ok here are the ingredients:

6 slices bacon
10 asparagus spears, ends trimmed
1/2 (16oz) package Rotini, elbow, or Penne pasta
4 tablespoons low fat mayonnaise
3 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 (60z) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
1 cooked chicken breast, cubed
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 toasted sliced almonds
salt and pepper to taste

Place bacon in large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil. Add asparagus and cook until tender, about 1 minute. Strain asparagus out of water and immediately plunge into a bowl filled with ice water; let sit in ice water until completely cold, then cut into 1 inch pieces. Next. add pasta to boiling water and cook until al dente; drain, rinse with cold water until chilled, then drain well.
Stir together mayonnaise, balsamic vinaigrette, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce in a large bowl. Fold in artichoke, chicken, cranberries, almonds, crumbled bacon, and asparagus. Season to taste with salt and peeper, then fold in cooked pasta. Refrigerate for at lest 1 hour before serving.

The times I've made it, I added the mayonnaise, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, or balsamic vinegar to taste, without measuring. I don't know what it tastes like with those exact measurements, but I really like it. Hope you try it and like it too!

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