This is one of those things that I just came up with out of nowhere. I was hungry and using whatever there was in the house. Now this dish is a regular menu item for us. I’m a pretty big fan of warm pasta salads. It’s got a lot of flavor, it’s surprisingly healthy and has both sweetness and a spicy kick.
1 chicken breast or 3 tenders
3 slices bacon
4 oz. rotini pasta (three vegetable rotini is especially good, but plain is fine)
sweet chili sauce
chipotle in adobo, pureed
This serves 2-3 people. As always, this is just a guide since we cook by eye and taste.
First you’ll want to cook your chicken. I use three tenders. I use our countertop grill to cook my breast tenders for about 2 minutes per side. If you don’t have a grill, you can bake your breasts. After they’re cooked, cut them into bite sized pieces and set them aside.
In a large mixing bowl you’ll combine a heaping teaspoon of margarine, around 1/2 cup V8, 2-3 tablespoons of tomato sauce (I use homemade, but you could use Prego or whatever you have), a tablespoon or so of sweet chili sauce, a quarter teaspoon of sesame oil, about 10 grinds of black pepper, a heaping teaspoon of parsley and a generous sprinkle of garlic powder. Add the chipotle in adobo to taste. I usually just put a very small (young pea size) amount, because it’s quite hot. Add more if you like it really spicy. Mix this with a fork until the margarine is all broken down and combined. It will look ugly at this point, but don’t worry about it.
Cut up your scallion, usually one whole piece from root to tip. Put that in the sauce. Using a narrow bias cut will make it look pretty.
Cook your bacon (3 strips). You can do it in a frying pan or in the microwave, whichever you prefer. I recommend using thick hickory bacon and cook it so that it’s chewy, not crisp. Cut it into small strips and mix them into the sauce.
Boil your pasta (1 cup) until it is al dente. Don’t overcook it. As soon as it’s done, strain it and put it directly into the sauce. Add your chicken in and mix until everything is incorporated.
That’s it! You’re ready to serve. I really like this when it’s fresh and warm, but you can chill it if you like. If you’re going to serve it cold, go a little heavier on the seasonings, because it loses flavor when it chills. I really suggest eating it warm, it’s super delicious.