Peggy Lampman's Tuesday dinnerFeed: Grilled Chicken with Pasta and Pesto
Peggy Lampman | Contributor
I love pesto because it's laid back and malleable; pesto can basically take anything you have to dish out. Is fresh mint overtaking your garden? Try this recipe which tosses ziti with a mint and feta pesto.
I like a lot of pesto on my pasta, as reflected in this recipe. However, you may stretch the pesto to accommodate additional pasta by adding some hot pasta water to the pesto before tossing the pesto with the pasta. I used Al Dente Spinach pasta for tonight's dinnerFeed.
Pesto, ah - pesto. I love thee like a summer's day!
Yield: 2-3 servings (1/2-3/4 cups pesto)
Time: 35 minutes
Cost: apx. $11.50
1/4 cup pine nutsâ€¨
1 large clove of garlic, peeled
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups packed freshly harvested basil leaves, washed, stems removedâ€¨
1/4 cup grated Parmigianno Reggiano
6-8 chicken tenders
6-8 ounces dry pasta
Cherry tomato halves, optional garnish
1. To make the pesto, preheat oven or toaster oven to 350Ëš.â€¨
2. Toast the pine nuts and garlic in the oven until the pine nuts are light brown, about 10 minutes. â€¨
3. In a food processor, purÃ©e the garlic with 2 tablespoons oil until smooth. Add the pine nuts to the bowl and, with off and on pulses, pulse until semi-purÃ©ed yet coarse in textures. With a spatula, scrape garlic-nut mixture from the bowl and reserve.â€¨
4. Working in batches, place the basil leaves in the food processor and, with the addition of 2 tablespoon olive oil, purÃ©e until smooth. Combine basil mixture with garlic-nut mixture. Stir in Parmesan and season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
5. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and prepare gas or charcoal grill to medium high heat. Season chicken tenders with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper; brush with remaining tablespoon olive oil .
6. Cook pasta according to package instructions and toss with prepared pesto. Grill tenders on oiled grill rack about 3-4 minutes per side or until cooked throughout. Serve grilled tenders over pasta; garnish with tomatoes, if using.