Chicken Pesto Penne

Pesto is a great option for flavouring pasta when you feel like something light, flavoursome and healthy. The main ingredient is basil so it’s good for using up excess basil leaves from the garden during summer. The best thing about it is that everything except the pasta is raw – so you get the full nutritional value of all those green leaves, chopped nuts and garlic. A generous amount of fresh parmesan cheese provides the salty flavour that really makes this dish work. I also like to add a bit of chicken for protein but it isn’t really needed. The recipe I’ve taken to using is very basic and rather traditional. The final flavour will ultimately depend on the quality of the ingredients you  use and the type of basil.

Basil and Pine Nut (traditional) Pesto

  • 45g (1/4 cup) pine nuts (cashews are a cheaper substitute)
  • ~1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 2 small cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 60g (3/4 cup) parmigiano-reggiano or other good quality parmesan
  • 5 tbs olive oil

Combine nuts, basil, garlic and cheese in a food processor or blender. Slowly add olive oil until a relatively smooth consistency is reached (or leave chunky if you prefer).

Stir through freshly cooked pasta with pan fried chicken pieces and season well to taste.

 

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Published in: on January 23, 2012 at 10:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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