Living in Savory

Pesto Pasta with Chicken

Hello & Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Oh boy do I have a green recipe for you! Pesto Pasta! You can’t get much more green  than some herbs and garlic blended up in olive oil. Plus, it’s super easy and fast to make. You can also change-up the ingredients to make it completely your own.

So let’s get started…

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 Bunch fresh Basil, washed & dried
  • 1 Bunch Flat Leaf Parsley, washed & dried
  • 4-6 Cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 Cup Pecans, toasted & cooled
  • 1/4 Cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 container, about a lb, of small mozzarella cheese balls
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 Olive Oil + more as needed
  • 1 lb Chicken Breast

Begin by chopping the garlic in the bowl of your food processor by pulsing a few times. Next, remove the stems from basil & parsley leaves and add to the food processor. Follow with the toasted pecans (pine nuts are traditional here, but you can use whatever you like…walnuts and pecans work especially well.), cheese, salt & pepper. Pulse to combine.

Next, with the food processor running, slowly add the olive oil to the mixture and allow the food processor to run until the mixture comes together as a smooth paste. Place in a large bowl and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil and add salt to taste. Cook your pasta according to the instructions, until al dente. I used radiatore pasta for this dish — so named because they look like little radiators — but you can use and pasta that has ridges or edges that the pesto can cling to.

As the pasta cooks, season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste and cook in a skillet over med-high heat. Cook 4-5 minutes per side until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside.

After the pasta is just al dente, add directly to the pesto sauce and toss to coat. Add pasta water as necessary to loosen the sauce to the desired thickness. Add the mozzarella balls to the mix and toss to coat.

To serve, place pasta in bowls and top with sliced chicken and Parmesan cheese as desired.

Enjoy and toast to another happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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