Friday, 16 July 2010

Friday Food - Recipe for Chicken and Pesto Pasta

I love pesto and have discovered many varieties in supermarkets and other small local markets. I usually buy pesto in a jar, but I sometimes make my own. It's so easy to make I almost feel guilty buying the stuff in a jar!

The recipe for today is one that I enjoy making when I am in the mood to curl up on a sofa and watch old movies. Why? Because it is super quick and tastes soooo good!

Chicken and Pesto Pasta

What you need:
  • Pasta - I prefer fresh tagliatelle for this one. You can also use penne pasta if you don't like twirling your pasta round your fork. How much pasta you need really depends on how hungy you are, but generally 75-100g dry pasta is what I consider a portion for one person.
  • Chicken breast - 1 chicken breast per portion is adequate
  • Classic Green pesto (i.e. with basil,not coriander) -  2-3 heaped tablespoons per portion. (I LOVE pesto so I'll leave you to guess how much I add!),
  • Onion - chopped finely
  • Cream - single cream or double cream - 2 tbsp per portion
  • Olive oil (vegetable oil will also do)
  • Black pepper
  • Salt to taste (if you wish)

What you do:
  1. Cook the chicken breast. I usually steam cook mine for about 20-25 minutes. Alternatively, you can boil/microwave the chicken if you don't have a lot of time or if you're not into steam cooking. You can even grill/oven cook the chicken. It's up to you. After resting the meat, cut or tear it into bite-sized strips.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan. Add onion and cook until onion is soft. Add the strips of chicken and mix thoroughly. Add half the pesto to the chicken and onion and mix throughly.
  3. Cook pasta as per instructions. Use a big pot/saucepan which will accommodate the pasta and chicken together. Drain the pasta when it is cooked.
  4. Add the chicken and onion mix to the pasta in the big pasta pot.
  5. Add the cream, the remainder of the pesto and seasoning.
  6. Mix gently but throughly, over low heat. Cover and leave over low heat for a couple of minutes, to allow the pesto and seasoning to infuse the pasta.
  7. All done. Serve with a big smile.
Just wee notes:
  • I prefer to cook the chicken myself because I usually get my chicken from a local farmer and he sure as hell wouldn't cook it for me! Lol Besides, fresh is always better! But you could always use pre-cooked chicken if you're in a hurry or can't be bothered with cooking the chicken.
  • You can skip the cream if you don't like cream. I find the cream adds a nice texture to the dish, as you'd like to have in Comfort Food. Creme fraiche, which is usually used as a alternative to cream, doesn't work quite as well in this dish. I'm not sure why!

If you make this, I hope you will give me some feedback! Feel free to share this recipe and link back to my blog. But, please don't sell it off as yours. That would be quite mean! :-) Enjoy!

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