Homemade pesto is a truly beautiful thing. Basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil with a bit of salt - gotta have salt - all mashed together in delicious harmony. It's glorious!! I could eat pesto on just about anything!
Now, you can buy pesto ready to go, but why do that? It's quick and easy to make homemade and tastes a million times better than what you get in a jar! It freezes well too! Seriously! If you haven't made fresh pesto, you are missing out!! and we can't have that!
I had some basil I needed to use up before it went south on me, so I whipped up some pesto and decided to make some sort of chicken pesto pasta dish, but....
The pesto wasn't quite enough for all the noodles I made, so I added a bag of spinach to it and gave it a couple more pulses in the Food Processor and presto - yummy Spinach Pesto Sauce for dinner and plenty of it!! Toss in some sun-dried tomatoes along with some chicken sauteed in butter (yes, butter! because it makes chicken better! it's true!) and your taste-buds will be happy as a clam at high tide!!
Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta
- 1 lb Penne Pasta
- 3/4 cup Fresh Basil Leaves
- 3 tablespoons Pine Nuts
- 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
- 2-3 cloves Garlic, peeled
- 1 (5 ounce) bag of Baby Spinach
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup First Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces
- salt and pepper to taste
- Sun-Dried Tomatoes (in oil), chopped
- Parmesan Cheese for garnish
- Cook pasta according to package directions in salted water. Drain and set aside.
- While pasta is cooking, combine 3/4 cup fresh basil, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, 3 tablespoons pine nuts, 2-3 cloves garlic, salt and pepper (to taste), and 1 (5 ounce) bag of baby spinach in the bowl of a food processor or blender and turn on. While processing, drizzle in 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil until combined. Add extra oil as needed. Give it a taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking. Set the pesto aside until ready to use.
- In a skillet over mid high heat, heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Salt and pepper the chicken pieces and add to the hot oil/butter mixture. Cook, without moving for about 3 minutes until the one side is nicely browned. Flip over and continue cooking until cooked through - another 3-4 minutes.
- Combine pasta, chicken, and spinach pesto with as many chopped sun-dried tomatoes as you like. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and give it a taste. Adjust the seasonings as needed and enjoy!
Prep Time: 15 mins.
Total time: 25 mins.
Some other tasty things you can do with homemade pesto....
|Spinach Pesto Chicken|
|Ore-Ida Pesto Chicken and Potato Patties|
|Easy Foil Packet Fish Recipe|