Friday, October 19, 2012

Pesto Chicken Penne Pasta

Do you like Basil pesto?  If so, you will love this meal.  It is so fast and easy to make with with store bought pesto or even your homemade pesto. Just cut up a couple of chicken breasts, cover with pesto and bake for 20 minutes, meanwhile cook your penne pasta according to directions on the box and when it is done, drain and add cooked chicken and pesto.  Toss in a little shredded Parmesan cheese and Wallah, Pesto Chicken Penne Pasta!

Pesto Chicken Penne Pasta

2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless, cut into 2” pieces
½ cup of basil pesto, fresh or store bought (recipe below)
8 ounces penne pasta , whole grain
½ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

Cut breasts into 2” pieces or chunks.  In the bottom of a small baking dish, spread 1/3 of pesto onto the pan.  Place chicken on top of the pesto and add remaining pesto to the top of the chicken pieces.  Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or chicken is cooked thoroughly.  Remove from the oven and break the pieces apart.  Set aside.

Prepare pasta according to the directions on the box.  Drain pasta and add chicken and pesto to pasta along with most of the Parmesan cheese, saving some for the top.  Toss pasta and plate adding sprinkles of Parmesan on top.

Happy Eating!

Basil Pesto:

2 cups of basil leaves fairly packed
¼ cup of toasted pine nuts
2 clove of garlic, rough chopped
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
2/3 cup olive oil, good quality
1 tablespoon of lemon juice, fresh not bottled
½ teaspoon of salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Toss everything into the food processor or blender and puree until thoroughly blended together.  Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

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