The holidays are in full swing around here and there’s been food, food, and more food…but we’re not complaining. We appreciate all the goodness that surrounds us–and fortunately food is a part of that.
Earlier today Nelson made a delicious homemade pesto. He hadn’t even fully planned what he was going to do with it, although he had a couple of perfect ideas in mind. Would it be pizza or pasta? Both options received my full and eager approval. mmmmm
Spoiler alert!! Nelson went with pasta. He used all my favourites–pesto, grilled chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, penne, fresh Parmesan cheese–tell me you’re not salivating right now! I am (which says a lot about me…and this dish, since I just finished eating). We might have gone with a fettuccine noodle but our kids are partial to penne so we went with that.
The pesto was the perfect consistency and it looked so nice in this dish. We’ve had pasta with pesto in some restaurants where the pesto has way too much oil and were left with a lot of oil on our plates. That’s not our preference, so Nelson made this just the way we like it.
Have pesto? Use it for goodness sake! Eat pasta, eat pizza, eat well friends!
- 4 cups penne regate
- 1 tsp coarse salt for boiling with the pasta
- ¼ cup of the cooked pasta water.
- 3 oz (85 g) sun-dried tomatoes (preserved in oil)
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 tbs oil from the sun-dried tomatoes jar
- 1.3 lbs (.6 kg) boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 5 tbs fresh basil pesto (see our recipe made with a mortar and pestle)
- ¾ tsp salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh basil and shaved parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil to top the dish
- Cook pasta with 1 tsp salt to al dente (per package instructions).
- Save ¼ cup of the pasta water.
- Drain the pasta and set aside.
- Pat down the chicken breasts with paper towel to remove moisture.
- Cut the chicken into strips and place them into a medium size bowl.
- Add the salt and pepper to the chicken strips and mix well.
- Heat the olive oil and sun-dried tomato oil in a large pan on medium high.
- Add the chicken strips and brown them. This takes around 4 to 5 minutes depending on the heat of your cook top.
- Reduce the temperature to medium heat.
- Add the sun-dried tomatoes and stir for about a minute.
- Loosen the pasta and add it to the pan.
- Add the pesto and stir well to make sure everything is coated.
- Add the ¼ cup pasta water and stir again.
- Cover and cook for about 2 minutes.
- Uncover and serve immediately, topped with basil leaves, freshly shaved parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy!