Chris named this pasta as tribute to the mix of old and new world flavors. Did you know that tomatoes are native to Central America and South America? Read more about tomato history in this About.com article by Peggy Trowbridge Filippone (http://homecooking.about.com/od/foodhistory/a/tomatohistory.htm). However you identify the flavors, this is a chicken pasta dish that is simple enough for any weeknight.
1 cup pasta, cooked to al dente (select any pasta you like, such as elbow macaroni or rotini)
½ lb chicken, seasoned, grilled (or baked), and chopped (I used Penzey’s Spices’ Arizona Dreaming seasoning)
2 slices bacon
Fresh ground pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 cup baby spinach leaves
2 oz fresh goat cheese
Instructions:Ensure that your chicken and pasta are prepared, or boil pasta and grill chicken while beginning the other steps. Cook bacon in skillet until crisp over moderate heat. Set aside bacon strips. Add olive oil to bacon drippings and swirl around pan. Add the cherry tomatoes and stir to coat. After about 2 minutes, add garlic and sauté mixture until the first few tomatoes threaten to burst. Add the baby spinach and stir. Once the baby spinach has wilted, toss in the chicken and pasta. Heat through and then crumble in the bacon strips and fresh goat cheese and stir to warm the cheese and incorporate. Season with salt and pepper and then serve.