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Cucina’s Pesto Farfalle and Chicken Salad

Basil Pesto
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup fresh spinach leaves
2 T. minced garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup vegetable oil


In a food processor, place the basil leaves, spinach leaves, garlic, pine nuts, cheese, salt and pepper. Pulse on and off 5-6 times to chop the basil and spinach. With the motor running, add th olive and vegetable oils in a slow stream. Pesto should be creamy in texture. Taste for seasoning. Makes about 2 cups pesto.
Salad
1 lb. imported farfalle (bowtie) pasta
2 T. olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced (use a sweet onion, such as Vidalia, Walla Walla or Maui, if available)
2 lbs. boneless and skinless chicken breasts, grilled or broiled
1 cup sun dried cranberries


Cook pasta until “al dente”, drain and rinse under cold water to stop cooking process. Set aside in a large mixing bowl.

Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet. Saute the onion until golden, about 7-10 minutes. Add to pasta. Cut the cooked chicken breasts into 1″ pieces and add to pasta along with the sun dried cranberries. Gently stir the basil pesto into pasta mixture until it is coated with the pesto. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper at this point, if needed.

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