Chicken & Pasta with Basil-Mint Pesto
This lovely pasta will take you from the warm evenings of Summer into the chillier days of Fall with the combination of warm-season herbs and veggies and the heartiness of a satisfying dinner. This pasta can be served right after preparation or chilled the next day for a not-sad desk lunch. This recipe makes 2 servings.
PREP TIME: 20 minutes
COOK TIME: 15 minutes
For the pesto:
1/2 cup pine nuts or chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 cups fresh Italian basil leaves, tightly packed
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, tightly packed
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt, to taste
8 ounces spaghetti or linguine noodles
1 large cooked chicken breast, sliced
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kernels from 1 ear of fresh corn
1/2 cup frozen peas
Freshly shaved parmesan cheese, cracked black pepper, chopped walnuts or pine nuts and fresh basil leaves, for garnish
Make the pesto: Add nuts, garlic, basil, mint and cheese to a small food processor. Pulse until blended. With the food processor running, slowly drizzle in olive oil and blend until the mixture becomes a finely chopped sauce. Remove pesto to a storage container, season to taste with salt and set aside.
Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions. When pasta is cooked, drain and set aside, reserving about 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
While pasta is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil to medium-high in a large, heavy skillet. Add onions and cook for 4-5 minutes, until the onion begins to brown on the edges. Reduce heat to medium and add in pasta, pasta water and 1/2 cup pesto. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until the sauce begins to thicken. Add in chicken, corn and peas. Cook for 2 more minutes until all ingredients are cooked through.
To serve, add about half of the pasta equally to 2 serving dishes. Garnish with pepper, cheese, nuts and herbs.