LAST EDITED ON 05-15-10 AT 06:48 AM (EST)
One of my favourites to serve when we have guests or simply feel like feeling like we want to be in a gourmet-y mood.
This is a recipe that is pretty easy to make, and depending on how fresh the pesto is, can really pop on the tastebuds. Best of all, it's not a 'fattening' recipe.
For this one, I used fresh pasta and pesto from the gourmet section of the store to save time (have included a make-your-own pesto recipe at the bottom if you want to go that route, it just takes longer). I also added shrimp for extra flavour - you can easily delete this from the recipe if you don't like shrimp or are not in the mood for it. Wine is entirely an option, I added it for extra 'pop'.
ETA: I guess it shows that I've had a long day as I neglected to add in a couple of items to the list of ingredients... I've also added the fresh pesto recipe below.
- 1 package fresh linguini - you could also use bowtie, penne or fusilli, fresh or packaged whatever your mood is.
- Olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (or two scoops of fresh, already-minced garlic)
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- half a ring of medium-sized shrimp, thawed/deveined (about 25-30)
- herbes de Provence
- 1/3 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and cut into strips
- 1/2 cup pesto sauce
(note, I often just 'eyeball' the measurements instead of being exact)
1. Cut chicken into bite-size pieces.
(yes, do make sure the shrimp doesn't touch the area where the chicken has been sliced up on the cutting board to avoid cross-contamination)
2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente, then drain. Time can vary depending on the type of pasta you choose. You don't want mushy, overcooked pasta, so keep an eye on it.
I usually time it so that I put in the chicken into the skillet when there's about 4 minutes or so left before the pasta is ready.
3. Heat a tablespoon or two of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic until tender, then stir in chicken. Sprinkle some herbes de Provence into the mixture. Cook until chicken is golden, and cooked through.
I add some white wine about halfway through the cooking process (after I've flipped the chicken over to make sure both sides are on the way to being browned)
4. Add shrimp after you add in the wine. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
5. Turn heat off. In the skillet, combine pasta, chicken, sun-dried tomatoes and pesto. Toss to coat evenly. Serve.
This recipe serves 4 normal portions - or if you're hungry like Pene and I were, two servings with seconds.
Fresh Pesto recipe
With work and four kids to deal with, I often don't feel like spending the extra time to whip up some fresh pesto from scratch. But if you've got time and/or are feeling adventurous, try making this instead of buying a jar from the store. The flavour is often better when made fresh.
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 2/3 cup olive oil (I sometimes top up to 3/4 cup)
- salt and ground black pepper (season to taste)
- 4 tablespoons butter, softened
- 4 tablespoons fresh Parmesan cheese
In a food processor, add the already-peeled garlic and put in a dash of salt and the pine nuts. Once broken up, add the basil leaves and blend until it is a paste.
Gradually add the olive oil, bit by bit, until the mixture is creamy and thick.
Beat in the butter and season with ground black pepper if you wish (it adds a nice kick, imho). Beat in the cheese.
Store the pesto sauce in a jar with a layer of olive oil on top to exclude air in the refrigerator until needed.