Pasta + Pesto + Chicken
Last week I was in the mood for pasta. AND I was determined to make use of the bumper crop of fresh basil growing in my herb garden. It’s been a stellar summer for herb-growing, and I refuse to let a single leaf go to waste. So I whipped up a delicious platter of pappardelle with fresh pesto and chicken.
Pesto is easy to make. After tasting the homemade version, you’ll never buy pesto from a jar again.
Of course, once you make homemade pesto, you gotta have a vehicle to transport it to your stomach. That’s where the pasta comes in.
Pappardelle is one of my favorite noodles. It’s a broad, flat egg noodle with flavor and substance. The word pappardelle comes from the (vulgar as compared to classic) Latin verb pappare which means “to gobble up”. Ha. Perfect.
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves (no stems)
- 2 large cloves garlic
- 2 Tablespoons pine nuts
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 6 boneless skinless chicken tenders (or large breast)
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 package Pappardelle noodles (I used entire 8.8 oz pkg Bionaturae Organic)
- Add basil, garlic, olive oil, and pine nuts to food processor or blender. Pulse several times, stopping to scrape sides. Once blended, add Parmesan and blend just to combine.
- Cook according to instructions on package.
- Generously salt and pepper chicken. Pan fry in butter (or roast in oven). Drain on paper towel. Cut into bite sized pieces.
- Arrange drained noodles in a serving dish. Add two heaping spoonfuls of pesto and toss. Top with chicken and additional grated Parmesan. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. Tastes great cold too!
You can add as much or little pesto to the dish as you’d like. Use leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken from the deli. Substitute shrimp for chicken. Leave the protein off altogether for a delicious vegetarian meal.
The flavors are incredibly light and fresh. Add a simple tossed green salad and a glass of white wine, and you’ve got a superb supper on a summer night.
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.
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