Pesto is a wonderful Italian oil and herb sauce that dates back as far as the Roman Age.
Basil, one of the main ingredients in pesto and a powerfully aromatic herb, gives this dish its lovely green colour, along with the pine nuts, garlic and cheeses adding a wonderful texture and zesty taste.
Pesto, chicken and pasta marry so well together, with the addition of the tomato’s giving this dish a wonderful pop of cherry tomato sweetness.
And if you’re after comfort food, leftovers are easily frozen and heated in the microwave for a small lunch another day.
What you will need:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 chicken breasts or chicken tenderloins
500g penne pasta
500g cherry tomato’s cut into halve
2 handfuls of sundried tomato’s
190g jar of basil pesto
250ml thickened cream
60g parmesan cheese, shaved to serve
Salt and pepper
Large bowl to mix the ingredients
NOTE – you can buy pure cream or thickened cream. Alternatively you can use 50g unsalted butter with 100ml milk. Or for a thicker consistency, use 100g of unsalted butter with 100ml of milk.
- Place water on the stove top with splash of oil and sprinkle of salt and boil. Once bubbling then place the pasta into the water. I cook pasta for 11mins on medium to high.
- Thinly slice the chicken and remove all the fat. Further chop into stir fry size pieces and place aside in a bowl.
- Once the pasta is cooked, place into a strainer and drain, with hot running water to remove the starch.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken for 5 minutes each side or until cooked through and season to taste. Transfer to a plate. Cover with foil or a plate to keep warm.
- While chicken is cooking, cut the cherry tomato’s into half and slice the sun dried tomato’s into small pieces.
- Now the chicken has been removed from the hot pan, add in all the tomato’s and pan fry for 2-4 mins, tossing often.
- Pour in the thickened cream over the cooked tomato’s and mix through, then add in the complete jar of pesto and chicken, thoroughly mixing all ingredients.
- Slowly add in the pasta and check the consistency of the sauce as you may not utilise all the pasta.