Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Pasta, Pesto, and Peas

You wouldn't think that kids would eat this, but mine all loved it tonight. I'm carbo-loading this week, so I tried this recipe as an alternative to spaghetti. Yum Yum if you like pesto (so Mom probably wouldn't go for this one). Tips: I used one type of pasta, halved everything in the recipe, and it still made a lot (with sauce to spare). Don't forget to marinate the chicken does take some planning ahead.

Pasta, Pesto, and Peas

¾ lb. fusilli pasta
¾ lb. bow-tie pasta
¼ cup olive oil
1 ½ cups homemade pesto (I used prepared pesto from Costco)
1 10-oz package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
3 Tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 ¼ cup good mayonnaise
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 ½ cups frozen peas, defrosted
1/3 cup pignolis, toasted (To toast pignolis [pine nuts] place them in a dry sauté pan and cook over medium heat for about 4 minutes, until evenly browned, tossing frequently.)
¾ tsp salt
¾ tsp black pepper
Lemon Grilled Chicken pieces, cooked (recipe below)

Cook the fusilli and bow ties separately in a large pot of boiling salted water for 10-12 minutes, until each pasta is al dente. Drain and toss into a bowl with the olive oil. Cool to room temperature. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, puree the pesto, spinach, and lemon juice. Add the mayonnaise and continue to puree. Add the pesto mixture to the cooled pasta, then add the cooked chicken pieces, Parmesan cheese, peas, pine nuts, salt and pepper. Mix well and season to taste. DELICIOUS.

Lemon Grilled Chicken

Juice of one lemon (~3 Tb lemon juice)
3 Tb oil
1 tsp minced garlic (~ 2 medium or 1 large clove)
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
½ tsp oregano
1 lb chicken breasts

Marinate chicken overnight. Usually, if I plan on using this for a pasta dish or pizza, where the chicken needs to be cut up, I cut up the raw chicken before I add it to the marinade. Then after it marinades overnight I cook the pieces in a pan on the stove and drain off the juices/marinade.


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