Recipe For Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad with Chicken, Asparagus and Cherry Tomatoes


Creamy Buttermilk Dressing:
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

Pasta Salad:
2 tablespoons salt
1 pound bow tie (farfalle) pasta
8 ounces trimmed asparagus, cut into 1-inch lengths
1 pound cooked chicken breast strips, pulled into bite-size pieces
8 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved and lightly salted
1 (14 ounce) can whole artichoke hearts, drained, cut into sixths
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted in a small skillet over low heat until golden
1/4 cup pesto (homemade or refrigerated prepared variety)


Mix dressing ingredients in a small bowl; keep chilled until ready to toss with salad. (Store in clean jar with lid.)

Bring 1 gallon of water and 2 Tbs. of salt to boil in a large soup kettle. Add pasta and, using package times as a guide, boil, stirring frequently and adding asparagus the last 1 minute, until just tender. Drain thoroughly (do not rinse) and dump onto a large, lipped cookie sheet. Set aside to cool while preparing remaining salad ingredients.

Place all salad ingredients (except buttermilk dressing) in a large bowl or transfer to a gallon-size zippered bag. (Can be covered and refrigerated several hours at this point.) When ready to serve, add dressing; toss to coat and serve.