Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Basil Pesto Chicken Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes


Pasta is one dish we just don’t eat that often. It’s not that we don’t like it (believe me… we both love pasta), it’s just that I don’t like to eat such carb-heavy meals. But, it just so happened I got a glorious bunch of basil in my CSA share. I used some of it to make bruschetta, but there was so much left, I knew, I’d finally get the chance to try my hand at pesto. I’ve never made it before, because I never had a plethora of basil at my disposal.

So, I pushed up my sleeves, scoured the cabinets & freezer, did some googling, and pulled this dish together. First I made the pesto. I knew enough about it, that I didn’t even look up a specific recipe, because it’s pretty common knowledge. I just eyeballed the other ingredients according to how much basil I had, and the fact that I wanted to use as little oil as I could get away with.

As I said, I was using what ingredients I had on hand, and I had some chicken breasts I had bought in a large package and individually frozen, as well as some sun-dried tomatoes. I am able to find sundried tomatoes that are not oil-packed, but still soft and flavorful. I love these in salads and other dishes, or just to snack on. Plus they are already julienne cut! I think it’s this brand. I knew I wanted to combine the pesto & sundried tomatoes, and I quickly found this recipe as my inspiration. I didn’t really follow it, but just sort of looked at it a once and then did it my way!

I knew this meal was a hit because, before I even got the chance to ask him how everything was, The Boy told me THREE TIMES “This is good, Boo”, “This is really good”, “This is good”. (I know that doesn’t sound all that amazing, but it sure is a step up from “It’s fine”, which is what I often get.)


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Basil Pesto Chicken Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes

inspired by: AllRecipes

serves 2

Ingredients:

PESTO:
Pesto: (all amounts are approx)
3/4 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
2 Tablespoons Parmesan-Reggiano
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 Tablespoons pine nuts
2 garlic cloves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

REMAINING INGREDIENTS:
2 servings pasta of choice (I chose whole wheat thin spaghetti)
2 chicken breasts
1/3 cup sundried tomatoes
italian seasoning (I used a Sicilian blend)

Directions:

PESTO:
Combine all ingredients except oil in food processor. Add half the oil, and process until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl when necessary, and slowly add in as much of the remaining oil as you desire to reach your desired consistency. Set aside.

PASTA:
Cook pasta according to package instructions.

Meanwhile season chicken with italian seasoning, and heat grill or skillet over medium high heat (I used the trusty George Foreman Grill). Cook chicken breasts until done. Slice chicken into bite-sized pieces.

Toss chicken, pasta, & sundried tomatoes in a bowl until well combined.

I served ours with sliced french baguette that had been brushed with extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkled with the same italian seasoning, and broiled in our toaster oven. This is another indulgent treat of ours!

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16 Responses to “Basil Pesto Chicken Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes”

  1. 1
    Liesl — July 8, 2009 @ 7:39 am

    This looks and sounds wonderful! I actually have never made pesto either, sad too because I have a freaking basil plant in my garden!! haha Maybe I will try your take on it sometime soon :o)

  2. 2
    Stephanie — July 8, 2009 @ 8:56 am

    This looks gorgeous and delicious!

  3. 3
    Molly Jean — July 8, 2009 @ 9:31 am

    That looks great! I wish my sad little basil plant would grow so I could use it more…

  4. 4
    Beth — July 8, 2009 @ 10:15 am

    I agree with Molly Jean! Every other summer my basil plant is huge by now, but this year it's puny. Did you buy those sundried tomatoes locally or order online?

  5. 5
    Erin — July 8, 2009 @ 12:07 pm

    This looks fabulous! I love pesto!

  6. 6
    Erin — July 8, 2009 @ 2:52 pm

    Thanks for all the comments guy!

    Beth- I actually am always able to find those sundried tomatoes at various Publix groceries around Nashville. Occasionally I've seen them at certain Kroger groceries too.

  7. 7
    Cate — July 8, 2009 @ 8:59 pm

    I love it when I have a ton of fresh basil to use up… there are just so many options!
    Those flavors are fantastic together!

  8. 8
    Kerstin — July 8, 2009 @ 10:45 pm

    Looks like a restaurant meal – yum!

  9. 9
    Ingrid — July 9, 2009 @ 9:16 am

    Looks and sounds really good! I love pesto especially cold on a hot day!
    ~ingrid

  10. 10
    Colleen — July 16, 2009 @ 10:35 am

    Yum – this has a lot of my favorite flavors in it!

  11. 11
    Elizabeth — August 9, 2009 @ 7:08 pm

    This look amazing!

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