Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Pesto Pasta

Pesto has such amazing flavor and a beautiful green color. I love to make my own, but this time of year it is too expensive to buy fresh basil to do so, so I used a canned pesto sauce. If you are buying a pre-made pesto sauce, just be sure it is made with basil and pine nuts, as a lot of pesto’s are made with walnuts and spinach as a filler. This is also good with a little heavy cream stirred in to make it a little more rich, but definitely not necessary. I made this for dinner the other night because I was having company over after work and didn’t have a lot of time. It literally cooks in the time that the pasta takes to boil, so it’s a good meal for during the week or for a last minute dinner party.

Pesto Pasta

1 Pound Pasta
4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into cubes
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Pound Mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 Cup Sundried Tomatoes, chopped (reconstituted dried, or oil packed)
2-8 oz Jars Pesto Sauce, or homemade
Parmesan Cheese, for serving

Cook pasta per directions on package. While pasta is cooking sauté chicken in large skillet until golden brown and just cooked through, about 5 minutes, remove and set aside. Add a little more oil to the pan add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, then add mushrooms and sauté until tender, 3-4 minutes. Next add sundried tomatoes, chicken, cooked pasta and pesto sauce, stir to combine. If sauce is too thick add a little pasta water. Serve immediately with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese on top.


Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Adding a bit of spinach to pesto actually helps keep the green color brighter. When I make pesto, it's only in summer, and only with basil from my garden. What doesn't get used that day goes into the freezer, where it stays bright green all winter.

Jason said...

Thanks for the tip Lydia! I will have to try this when I make pesto next time.