Saturday, October 10, 2009

Chicken and Orzo Pasta

This is a recipe that I watched Giada De Laurentiis make on her show. I have made it for teacher luncheons but I add rotisserie chicken.

1 pound orzo pasta
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1/4 cup
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
2 cups fresh arugula (about 3 ounces), chopped*
3/4 cup crumbled ricotta salata cheese*
1/2 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped*
12 fresh basil leaves, torn*
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta and put the pasta on a large cookie sheet. Drizzle the pasta with 3 tablespoons olive oil, toss, spread out, and set aside to cool. Once the orzo is cool, transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and toss gently to combine. Taste it because you may need to add more salt (I did the last time I made it). Serve.

*You can make this with spinach, feta, walnuts, cranberries and oregano then call it a Greek pasta salad instead of Italian!*

Side note- Recently when I made this dish I could not find the Arugula or the Ricotta Salata, so I followed all the directions but used Feta and Spinach. So GOOD!

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