Pesto Pasta with Chicken & Veggies
What have you been watching lately? I don’t watch a ton of TV – Top Chef and the final season of How I Met Your Mother is about all that’s on my radar on a weekly basis. But I have started watching Sons of Anarchy on Netflix streaming. While admittedly it may not be the best show ever, it is pretty entertaining.
However, it’s definitely seeped into my real life in a way I hadn’t expected. When my friends come over, I almost want to push them down and demand to see their “ink,” just to make sure they’re not members of some rival biker gang. “Cut” and getting “patched in” has become part of my vocabulary. And I have a lot of dreams about guns. Honestly, I probably need to step away from the Netflix account and get some comfort into my life.
Let’s talk about to this comforting pesto pasta recipe. I’ve discovered that making the switch to whole-grain pasta is pretty painless. By the time you flavor it up, you really forget that it’s healthier for you than the white stuff. I added lean chicken breast for protein, and sun-dried tomatoes and green peas for some veggie goodness. Everything is tossed with basil pesto, little balls of mozzarella cheese, and finished with a sprinkle of pine nuts and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. It’s a comforting meal that I’ll probably eat….while watching more Sons of Anarchy.
- 8 ounces whole-grain medium pasta shells
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 small chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 3/4 cup green peas
- 1/2 cup prepared basil pesto
- 1/3 cup julienne-cut sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
- 1/3 cup pearl-size fresh mozzarella cheese
- 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons torn fresh basil leaves
- Bottled balsamic glaze (optional)
- Heat large pot of salted water to boiling over high heat. Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain pasta, reserving 1/4 cup cooking water.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, cook 5 to 6 minutes or until golden brown and almost cooked through, stirring occasionally. Add peas; cook 1 minute.
- Add pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, pasta and reserved pasta cooking water to skillet; toss until well combined. Remove from heat; stir in cheese. Serve immediately garnished with pine nuts, basil leaves and balsamic glaze, if desired.