Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Green Veg & Chicken Pesto Pasta

We're well into September now, the evenings are getting shorter and time seems more fleeting as the "busy-ness" of our routines returns after the glorious summer of 2013! This kind of situation demands quick plate to table meals. This recipe combines some of my very favourite, and easily accessible ingredients - fresh green vegetables, chicken, pasta and pesto. It is a perfect evening dinner for two, but could very easily be prepared for one person, or equally a family, without having too much or too little.

Serves 2


Marinade -

  • 2 chicken fillets (whole)
  • 2 tsp. pesto (I use good quality shop bought pesto, such as Sacla. If you're lucky enough to have fresh herbs and a food processor, homemade is just heavenly)
  • 1 finely chopped sprig of rosemary
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
Main meal -
  • 150 g mangetouts/sugar snaps/fresh whole green beans
  • A handful of petits pois/frozen peas
  • 200g linguine/spaghetti
  • 100g lightest Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 2 or 3 tbsp. reserved pasta water
  • 2 tsp. pesto
  • 50g grated Parmesan cheese
  • A little extra olive oil

  1. Smear the chicken fillets with the pesto, drizzle over the olive oil and the chopped rosemary and allow to marinade for 10 - 15 minutes. If you happen to be fortunate enough to have extra time, up to an hour would be great.
  2. Cook your pasta in a large pan of salted, boiling water, following cooking instructions.
  3. Heat a saucepan with a small amount of olive oil and fry your chicken fillets for 10 - 12 minutes on a medium heat, turning frequently.
  4. Meanwhile, about 5 minutes before the end of cooking time, add all of your green veg into the cooking pasta.
  5. Cover your chicken in tin foil and set aside once it's cooked.
  6. It should now be about time to drain your pasta and veg mix. Be sure to hold back those few extra tablespoons of liquid.
  7. When completely empty, place the cream cheese and pasta liquid into the saucepan on a very low heat. Whisk to combine and to create a lovely sauce. Next mix through the pesto and season to taste.
  8. Stir in the pasta and vegetables.
  9. Return quickly to the chicken fillets. Slice them on a diagonal (if you're feeling fancy!) Then plate up the pasta and veg mixture, sit your pesto chicken on top and sprinkle (liberally) with some freshly grated Parmesan. Yum yum!

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