Sun-dried tomato pesto with chicken
As a main course:
Sun-dried tomato pesto is wonderful. I eat it for lunch with fresh noodles frequently. If you delete the chicken from the recipe below, the pesto can be used on noodles as a primo course (first), as spreads on crostini (toasted thin bread), fish, etc. I have added the chicken to make this a main course. You can substitute Italian sausage for the chicken also (about 6 links, cut) for a main course.
Ingredients (5 servings):
- 1 pound – fresh pasta (penne if you can find it fresh)
- 3 – skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- 2 bottles (7 ounces each) – sundried tomatoes, oil drained
- 5 ounces – parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup – fresh basil (washed and packed in the cup)
- 3 tablespoons – pine nuts
- 6 cloves – garlic
- ¾ cup – extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Meanwhile, boil a few quarts of water in a pot with salt and cook the penne (fresh pasta should only take a few minutes). While you are waiting for the water to boil, rinse the chicken breasts and remove any fat. Place in a baking dish and cook in oven until brown and well done (about 30 to 40 minutes). Turn oven off once the breasts are finished but do not remove until you have completed cooking the pasta.
Combine the sun-dried tomatoes, parmesan cheese, basil, pine nuts, garlic, and olive oil in a food processor and blend until well mixed (see photo - can be refrigerated for up to two weeks, covered).
Basil, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan, and sun-dried tomatoes
Sun-dried tomato pesto
When the pasta is finished, set aside ½ cup water from the boiling pot, and then drain the pasta well. Place the pasta back into the cooking pot, add the sun-dried tomato pesto and mix well.
Sun-dried tomato pesto with chicken in the pan
Remove the chicken from the oven and dice. Add the chicken along with salt and pepper and the ½ cup pasta water. Cook on medium high heat while mixing until it is hot enough to serve. Voila!