Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pasta with Pesto, Chicken, Mushrooms and Cashews

"Chicken Pesto" has been one of our favorite meals for over 25 years. Actually, when the kids were young, just the smell and sight of it made them sick, so it was our dinner we enjoyed fixing for ourselves after the kids had gone to bed!

I have enjoyed adding extra things that have caught my fancy through the years, but this is our basic recipe. This is easy to make and can be on the table in less than 30 minutes. I should say, it comes together quickly, unless the phone rings, the dogs need out, someone is at the door or you realize you don't actually have any pasta in the cupboard or refrigerator!

You will need: 
1/3 lb Whole wheat linguine
1-2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped into bite size pieces
Garlic - to taste, I use at least 5-6 cloves
1/2 to 1 lb. Mushrooms, sliced
1-2 tbsp Olive oil - 1 tbsp if using 1 chicken breast, 2 tbsp if using 2 chicken breasts
1-2 tbsp Butter, same as above
Salt and pepper to taste
Pesto - see recipe below
Parmesan Cheese, fresh grated

In a skillet, add a tablespoon of water and add the mushrooms. Saute for about 4-5 minutes, until they are about half cooked and have released their water.

Meanwhile, start bringing your pasta water to a boil in a medium-sized sauce pan.

Remove mushrooms and pour off liquid from the pan. Add the butter and olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add the garlic, chicken and mushrooms, stirring until garlic is tender and chicken is cooked through. 

Add pasta to boiling salted water and cook to al dente. Pour into a strainer, saving some of the pasta water.

Pour part of your pesto into your chicken and mushroom mixture and stir until well covered. Note: We prefer our chicken and mushrooms when they are covered with cooked garlic and pesto sauce before they are added to the pasta.

Place pasta back in sauce pan and add more pesto, to taste. Stir until linguine is covered with pesto. The pesto will stick to the pasta better when it isn't coated with oil or butter. 

Pour pasta mixture back into the medium saute pan and incorporate until everything has mixed together. At this point, if your mixture is too stiff, add a little of the pasta water and stir until it thins a little. You can also add more pesto if you want more. Do this until you have a consistency that you like. 

Note: You can keep them separate and place the pasta in a warm bowl and top with the chicken mushroom mixture if you prefer.

Using a pasta scoop or tongs, place mixture into a warm bowl. Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and sprinkle with cashews.





        See Pesto on Key Ingredient.     



No comments:

Post a Comment