Caesar Salad Transformed for Winter (HHDD#12)

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When Katie over at Other People’s Food announced the theme for Hay Hay It’s Donna Day #12 was Caesar Salad, I automatically thought of a pasta dish using caesar salad ingredients that I had made about a year ago. Unfortunately, I seem to have misplaced the recipe! This always seems to happen to me, I find a really good recipe, but by the time I want to make it again I can’t figure out where I put the recipe. If only I had this blog a year ago I wouldn’t have had this problem, I could just look in my Recipe Index.

But I didn’t let this minor setback stop me from participating, I took my favourite Caesar Salad recipe and transformed it into a warm pasta dish, a comforting dinner for the cooler months, which we are heading into here in Australia at the moment, especially in Melbourne. The original salad recipe comes from the September 2003 issue of Super Food Ideas and is also available here. I obviously had to tweak it a little to make it more pasta friendly, so my recipe is below.

Chicken Caesar Salad Pasta (Serves 6)

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Preheat oven to 180C. Hard boil 4 eggs and set them aside, once cooled cut into wedges. Cut 6 short cut bacon rashers into large pieces and fry until crisp. Cut 2 skinless chicken breast fillets into strips, toss in a bowl with 2Tbsp salt & 2Tbsp pepper and fry in 1Tbsp olive oil until browned and cooked through. Cut 4 pieces of bread into 9 squares each. Spray a baking tray with oil spray, add bread squares and spray them lightly with oil spray as well. Bake in oven for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

To make dressing combine 3/4C 97% fat free mayonnaise, 3/4C light sour cream, 2Tbsp lemon juice (I used lime juice as this is all I had), 4Tbsp grated parmesan cheese, 2tsp worcestershire sauce, 2tsp dijon mustard & 1-2 minced garlic cloves in a food processor until smooth.

Cook 500g penne pasta in boiling water, according to packet directions, drain and put back in pot. Add 3C baby spinach leaves to warm pasta, once wilted add bacon and chicken pieces and stir through 3/4 of dressing. Once heated through, spoon into bowls and top with egg wedges, croutons, extra parmesan cheese and reserved dressing.

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