Friends, this is hands down my new favorite food to make. Grilled chicken, and freshly made pesto are tossed into pasta with a bit of butter and cream to make a fast and easy, nourishing meal. I am so glad my husband loves it because I make it at least once a week these days. Not only is it easy, but it is so beyond delicious and so very nourishing*. Impressive enough to serve guests, but practical enough for any weeknight meal. Really, what’s not to love?!
It’s so easy to make fresh pesto! It can be made in about 3 minutes with just a few ingredients. Yes, you can also buy a jar of pesto and skip this step, but this fresh pesto tastes sooooo good, friends. Try it and see what I mean!
To start the recipe, I slice chicken breasts into strips, sprinkle with salt and pepper (use your preference of seasonings), and grill to temp. Set aside to lest rest while you pull the rest together.
Cook 1 lb. of pasta in salted water according to package directions. While it’s cooking begin your pesto.
Begin by peeling 3 good-sized cloves of garlic (or 3 tsp.) and tossing them in the food processor.
Add in 1/3 c. of pine nuts (you can sub in walnuts to save on cost),
1/2 c. freshly grated parmesan cheese (skip the green bottle — the additives make it clump),
2 T. lemon juice and the zest of one lemon.
and 2 c. of rinsed, fresh basil leaves.
Pulse until chopped into green loveliness. Now, push the on button on your processor and while it whirs, drizzle in extra virgin olive oil until the sound of the processor changes indicating that the pesto is emulsifying. It’ll end up being about 1/2 c. olive oil.
Sprinkle in about 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper, or to taste.
This pesto will equal just about 1 1/4 c. of pesto. You can use whatever amount you prefer in your pasta. I use 1 cup and reserve the rest for grilled turkey pesto sandwiches later in the week. :o) Wasn’t that fast?
Now, in a large skillet, melt 1/4 c. unsalted butter over low heat.
To the melted butter, add 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream. Stir in the pesto and gently warm. When I make this without the intention of taking a picture, I stir the whole beautiful thing together in the pan, pasta, sauce, and chicken. Sprinkle with additional pine nuts, and freshly grated parmesan.
*12 Health Benefits of Basil (sourced from Dr. Axe)
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