Sunday, June 27, 2010

Chicken, Pesto and Pasta

I came across a recipe yesterday that sounded wonderful. It was a very simple recipe that I knew would have great flavors. Once I got home I realized that I had some veggies that I wanted to use up, so made some changes to the original recipe. Since I was adding veggies with the pasta I decided to make a sun dried tomato pesto instead of a regular basil pesto. I also added the chicken (which I just sauteed on the stove top--wanted to grill the breasts but it was to damn hot outside).

We really enjoyed our dinner last night. The pesto wasn't over powering, the veggies added a nice crunch, and the chicken made it a complete meal. I am looking forward to trying it cold today, to see if it would work as a cold pasta salad. ** tried it cold... and didn't like it. Will stick with it hot**

Shells with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto, Veggies and Chicken
Original recipe:

-1 lb. whole wheat medium pasta shells-
1 cup marinated sun dried tomatoes, chopped-(see below where I added to pesto and did not just add to the pasta
2/3 cup frozen peas, thawed in warm water-(just threw these in with the pasta once it was done cooking-- heated up just fine)
1 red bell pepper chopped up
1/2 onion chopped up
2 small squash (from my mother in laws garden) chopped up
1 1/2 cup pesto sauce (recipe follows)-
Salt and pepper to taste-
Parmesan for sprinkling-

When boiling water for the shells, make sure to generously salt the water.
Throw all veggies into a pan with a little EVOO and cook until you are happy (I usually like mine a little more cooked than most)
Cook pasta until al-dente. Drain and transfer shells to a large mixing bowl.-While the pasta is still hot, add pesto, sun dried tomatoes, peas,veggies, salt, pepper, and Parmesan. Serve with some fresh basil and an extra sprinkle of Parmesan.

Sun Dried Tomato and Basil Pesto
(Makes more than you need for the pasta)-

2 large bunches of basil-
1 cup olive oil (add more if needed)-
1/2 cup parmesan cheese-
handful of walnuts (didn't have enough pine nuts on hand)
1 lg. clove raw garlic, roughly chopped-
Salt and pepper

Remove basil leaves and put them in a colander. Rinse and make sure to get any sand off of the leaves. Squeeze out basil in a paper towel, and add to a food processor or blender. Add 2/3 cup of the sun dried tomatoes. Add oil, garlic, and walnuts to the basil, and blend. The mixture should look a little soupy. Add the parmesan, salt, and pepper, and blend again. Your pesto should thicken up with the cheese. Store in the fridge for a week.

No comments: