August 23, 2011

Creamy Chicken Pesto Pasta

When you have that one tomato left in the fridge or some rotisserie chicken leftovers, this is the easiest dish to make - granted, not the healthiest but easy and satisfying. Pesto is a staple in my fridge and with my abundance of basil in my garden, I like to make pesto every couple months to replenish my stock. You can keep pesto in the freezer in a tight container with plastic wrap touching the pesto and then the lid over that. It should keep for a month/two months max. I don't even let this defrost when I need it. I just take a few spoonfuls and put it directly into my hot sauce/pan, and it tastes pretty great every time. 

Creamy Pesto Pasta with Chicken and Tomatoes
Serves 2-3
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tbsp butter
4 large spoonfuls of pesto (approximately 4-5 tbspn but really to your taste)
1 tomato chopped
Shredded chicken (I had leftover rotisserie chicken that I shredded)
Grated Parmesan cheese 
4-6 basil leaves, sliced into slivers (optional)

1. Bring large pot of water with good heaping of salt to a boil.  Toss in some pasta - I like ones that have holes/shells to scoop up the sauce - and let it cook for 8-10 minutes or via box directions.  

2. In a saucepan, heat up the heavy cream and the butter. Bring this to a boil and then once boiling, turn heat down to medium.
3. Take 4 large spoonfuls of pesto and add to the heavy cream mixture. Add more/less for your preference on how 'pesto-y' you'd like your sauce. Mix well and let it cook on medium for a 2-3 minutes to let the pesto incorporate and get all happy with the cream.  Add S&P if you need to - I did not. Your pesto may already be well seasoned so make sure to keep tasting!

4. Roughly chop up your tomato (or whatever fresh veggies you may have) and shred the chicken. You can certainly omit the chicken and add more veggies - broccoli or even spinach would be good in this dish.  
5. Drain your pasta (save some of the water if you'd like to add to the pasta if its too dry/thick) and put into the serving bowl. 
6. Now, mix everything together!  For the pesto sauce, don't add all at once but by large spoonfuls until it meets your preference.  Some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and some slivers of fresh basil on top - done!

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