So, I had a LOT of basil growing in my small little garden bed in the backyard. For those not too keen on gardening, basil is an excellent companion plant to have next to tomatoes. I had Big Boy and Roma tomatoes growing this Spring/Summer season. I don't usually eat too many basil dishes, but wanted to challenge my creativity. I also now have more cooking tools that allow me to make things that would've been more challenging to make before, such as a hand blender.
Here's my Cuisine Art hand blender ( shoutout to my brother for giving me thins for Christmas last year!). It would've been great to use a food processor, but I lost the attachments (of course!). I tried a regular blender, that may have worked better if I had more ingredients, so I switched to an immersive hand blender! Thank God for that!
Pesto is a really simple sauce to make, some may find the price of pine nuts to be off putting (this 4.5oz of Pine nuts were about $10), but luckily you can use other nut alternatives thats more cost friendly, such as walnuts. If you have a nut-allergy, sunflower seeds are great too! I would love to try different variations to see if the flavor is greatly affected.
8 oz. penne Pasta, cooked to package instructions
1 lb chicken breast, diced
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter, unsalted
1/2 small onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp flour
1 cup pesto
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
Salt to taste
grated or shaved parmesan
Begin by cooking the pasta to the directions on the bag. If pasta Is from scratch, dry pasta takes about 7-8 minutes, fresh about 3-4 minutes. After cooking, save a cup of pasta water ( just in case!), rinse pasta with cold water to stop the cooking process.
Season diced chicken breast with onion, garlic, paprika, and black pepper. In a large pan on medium heat, add olive oil. Add and cook diced chicken until tender. Remove cooked chicken from pan.
Add butter until butter is sizzling and cook onions until translucent. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add flour. Whisk and cook for about 30 seconds or until well combined. Add pesto and heavy cream. Continue cooking and whisking occasionally until it is a nice creamy texture. Add more heavy cream if needed. If too thick, add a little pasta water a tablespoon at a time to thin.
Add in chicken and penne pasta and combine with sauce. Add fresh sliced cherry or grape tomatoes and remove from heat. Add salt to taste!
Serve immediately and add parmesan! Fin!
This pasta is freezable for meal prep or for eating later on. Can be stores int he fridge up to 2 days.
Comment and let me know how it turned out for you!
Want this recipe cooked and delivered to you in the Shelby County area? Shoot me a message on my website. Can be made for individuals or catering portioned sizes, as with all recipes!