Chicken and Pasta Salad
Ready to eat in 20 minutes
1 large chicken (boiled)
400 g (1 lb) penne
1/4 cup (60ml/2 fl oz) olive oil
2 tablespoons white vinegar
250 g (6 1/2 oz) tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup (20 g/2/3 oz) chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup (75 g/2 1/2 oz) chopped pitted black olives
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- The chicken should be boneless and cut into fine shreds.
- Meanwhile, cook the penne in a large pan of rapidly boiling water until al dente; drain well and transfer to a serving bowl. Combine the oil and vinegar and toss through while the pasta is still warm.
- Add the chicken, tomatoes, basil and olives to the pasta, and toss thoroughly to combine. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Serve warm, as a main meal, or at room temperature as part of a selection of salads.
Note: The salad may be made up to 2 hours in advance. However, do not add the chicken until close to serving time – it should be refrigerated until required. Chop and add the basil close to serving time as well, as it discolours when cut.
Pasta is the ideal basis for quick, but delicious, meals. All the dishes can be on the table in less than 30 minutes. The key to quick, fuss-free meals lies in a well-stocked store-cupboard.
How to cook Pasta: Cooking times will vary with the different types of pasta used. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendation on the packet. The only sure way to find out if pasta is ready is to taste it. The pasta should be just tender, not at all raw or soft. This is known as ‘al dente’, which literally means ‘to the tooth’. Pasta should be cooked in a very large pan to allow room for expansion and to prevent clumping. Allow 8 cups (2 liters) of water for every 500 g (1lb) of pasta.
Bring the water to the boil, then add the pasta. When the water starts to the boil again, begin timing and taste the pasta just short of the given cooking time.