This is a great salad to bring to a picnic or any get together or serve as a meal itself. Fusilli pasta is similar to rotini pasta in that it is twisted and has lots of crevices to soak in the pesto.
1/4 lb. of chicken breasts or tenderloins – grilled
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh pepper
2 1/2 cups of uncooked Fusilli pasta
1/3 cup of kalmata olives or more
1/4 cup of packaged pesto, possibly more if salad seems dry after chilled
1/4 cup of toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes cut in half
Parmesan cheese for garnish
In a bowl lightly coat chicken with olive oil and lightly season chicken with kosher salt and fresh pepper. Grill on a preheated grill or grill pan over medium high heat until done. Doneness will depend on the thickness of the chicken you are using and the type of grill you are using. Once cool cut chicken into bite size pieces. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta and pour into a large bowl. Add chicken and kalmata olives and stir in pesto. Chill for at least an hour or longer. Toast pine nuts by placing pine nuts in a small skillet over low heat, toss until light brown. When ready to serve stir and add more pesto if pasta seems dry or a little bit of olive oil. Add tomatoes and top with toasted pine nuts and parmesan cheese. Serve plated or family style.
Try Farnese Sangiovese (Italy), Masi Modello Delle Venezie (Italy), Gabbiano Chianti (Italy) or Parducci Family Farmed Pinot Noir (California).