April 27, 2010

Chicken and Pesto Pasta

What is the perfect way of making pesto ?? Do you think there is any exact procedure to make one ? Well, I know there are lot of different ways in making pesto, but one should always stick to the main ingredients which are basil,garlic,cheese and olive oil. I say the perfect pesto would always be made with fresh basil. The other ingredients, meaning the kind of pasta and vegetables or meat are left to ones own choice.
I had this dish in a lot of restaurants but the best was at a restaurant called Tropea Ristorante Italiano, they served this pesto pasta in the name of Rigatoni zii teresa. Cant forget the fresh flavors ...mmmm!!!So creamy...deep smell...oh it was a delight. However it is quite hard to get the restaurant flavor at home. But all that's necessary is to cook with fresh ingredients and fresh cheese. Dont substitute cheddar or any pre-sliced cheese. Sometimes I cook them with chicken, sometimes with mushrooms but my pesto sauce is the same. So try it out and you will have no regrets in serving this for a party too !!

1 tbsp White Pepper
3 garlic cloves crushed
1/2 pound julienne chicken breast
2 tbsp butter
2cups Buitoni sea shells pasta
1 cup pesto sauce
3tbsp heavy cream
1/4 cup grated parmigiano cheese
pesto sauce:
1 bunch basil leaves
2 garlic cloves
1/3 cup roasted pine nuts
1/4 cup grated parmigiano cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt to taste

For Pesto Sauce:
1.Grind the basil, garlic, roasted pine nuts, cheese and olive oil with a pinch of salt.
2.Add olive oil little at a time mixing well until the sauce binds together (for a thicker sauce add less oil).Check for seasoning and adjust.
For Pasta:
1.Mix white pepper,garlic and chicken. Keep it aside.
2.Heat the butter in a large skillet.Add marinated chicken let it cook for 10-15 minutes.
3.Meanwhile cook the pasta according to package direction.Just before draining the pasta into a colander,remove 1/4 cup of pasta water and set aside.
4.Add the pesto sauce into the chicken mixture and toss it with pasta.Finally add the cream and pasta water. Cook for another 5 minutes.

5.Finally pour the pasta into serving bowl and garnish with grated parmigiano cheese. Serve hot.
HINT: Garnish with roasted pine nuts for crunchy taste.
NOTE: Use fresh basil for fresh flavor.
VARIATION: Can use 1 tbsp of soar cream instead of heavy cream.


Ann said...

Wow.. Sounds so delicious, Love the pesto with Chicken:)

Pavithra said...

Ooooh yummy pasta and with my very fav pesto.. I am drooling here.

Kamalika said...

LOvely and tasty post..very easy to make...and pasta is my all time favourite....

Priya said...

Tempting pasta, truly looks divine..

Suhaina said...

looks very yummy. nicely presented.

MaryMoh said...

I have never made pesto myself. It's so healthy with all the herbs. Would be so delicious with pasta. Hope to make some day.

Kalai said...

Awesome pictures and a delicious looking pasta! Love the color.

3 hungry tummies said...

I agree it will come out right if one sticks to the main ingredients. Delicious dish!