Rachael’s Wedding Pasta

We’re headed to a wedding this weekend (and many weekends recently…it’s just that season), and it got me thinking: I love weddings – the celebration, the food, the love, the dress, the food and the reflection of the couple in all of the little details they spent time planning…and the food.

I had a wonderful time planning my own wedding in June of 2009, and even miss it sometimes. One of my favorite things about ‘our special day’ was our dinner menu. After weeks of trying to decide which caterer to use, I realized that everything I LOVE to eat, my mom makes. And, everything I was looking for in a caterer, were things she already did better than anyone I could hire. So, we chose to ‘cater’ the wedding ourselves (with the help of a few dozen friends).

It tuned out better than I could have imagined…

{Above} Entering our reception – I adored my vintage clutch {Below} Food and treats!

A star of our spread was a recipe my mom perfected, and has since been dubbed “Rachael’s Wedding Pasta”. It’s flavorful and impressive enough for a crowd of elegant guests, but simple enough to make that even a newlywed can pull if off without a hitch!

Rachael’s Wedding Pasta

What you’ll need:

(Serves 4)

  • 2 Chicken breasts
  • 1/2 Cup Balsamic vinaigrette dressing (I love Newman’s Own…and not just because of Paul’s captivating stare…)
  • 1/2 Box of whole wheat Pene pasta (The Hubby likes this type because he says it’s easy to stab with a fork)
  • 1/2 Cup Sun-dried Tomato Pesto, or to taste
  • 1/3 Cup of Pine nuts
  • 1 Quart Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
  • About 1 Cup Spinach, roughly chopped
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic, minced
  • About 3 T Olive oil to saute, plus 4 T to dress pasta
  • 3/4 Cup Fresh grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese, plus a ‘sprinkle’

Directions:

  • Marinate Chicken in dressing, grill, and slice into bite-sized pieces, set aside and keep warm
  • Saute mushrooms in olive oil (or butter), add pine nuts and garlic, heat
  • Cook pasta as directed
  • Drain pasta, add spinach while it is still hot to wilt
  • Mix pesto and mushroom mixture into pasta, add olive oil to taste
  • Add cheese, stir, use extra as garnish

We love to serve this with a leafy spinach salad, crusty bread and dipping oil – Always a hit, and easy to re-heat or make on the fly for unexpected guests (the kind your hunky new husband invites from work and doesn’t tell you about until about T-30 minutes from their arrival… no, not from personal experience of course).

Or, your husband might come home from work hungry, and grab the whole bowl. This happened. No joke.

At least he classed it up with the swanky bottled root beer.

Enjoy!

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6 thoughts on “Rachael’s Wedding Pasta

  1. Indeed. So much heart & soul goes into planning a wedding, it’s a shame they’re over before you can catch your breath!
    You and your mom are quite a team.

  2. I love the post, but i’m pretty sure i was calling this “spinach surprise” way before it became rachaels wedding pasta… but your name sounds better.

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