Pesto Pasta & Chicken

What a fabulous meal! This was my first time making homemade pesto and the smell of it brought me back to my childhood and images of my grandfather tending to his garden. This was a great break from our usual dinners and something that I will definitely make more often. Thank you to Barefoot Blogger Elizabeth of Ugg Smell Food for choosing this recipe!

I adapted this recipe a bit to suit what I could find in the store and my allergies. First things first, my allergies. I am allergic to all nuts, so I had to venture out and make my own pesto sans the nuts. Quite easy, actually. Next, I couldn’t find much basil at our store and knew I wouldn’t have enough, so I supplemented what I had with baby spinach. I thought it added a great dimension of flavor! However, since I did this I eliminated the frozen chopped spinach (as well as the mayo and lemon juice). And since I like to incorporate protein in the form of meat in most of my dinners, I added some sauteed chicken breast to the dish. So in the end you get a bow tie pasta dish with chicken and a spinach-basil pesto. Honestly, it was fabulous and I really enjoyed it!

Pasta, Pesto, and Peas

Servings 12 servings
Prep 30 minutes
Cook 12 minutes
Total 45 minutes
Course:Main Course
Cuisine:American, Italian
Author: Michelle

A delicious homemade weeknight meal

Ingredients:

  • 3/4
    pound
    fusilli pasta
  • 3/4
    pound
    bow tie pasta
  • 1/4
    cup
    good olive oil
  • 1 1/2
    cups
    pesto
  • 10
    ounces
    frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
  • 3
    tablespoons
    freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/4
    cups
    good mayonnaise
  • 1/2
    cup
    freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 1/2
    cups
    frozen peas
    (defrosted)
  • 1/3
    cup
    pignolis
    (pine nuts)
  • 3/4
    teaspoon
    kosher salt
  • 3/4
    teaspoon
    freshly ground black pepper

For the Pesto:

  • 1/4
    cup
    walnuts
  • 1/4
    cup
    pine nuts
  • 3
    tablespoons
    chopped garlic
    (9 cloves)
  • 5
    cups
    fresh basil leaves
    (packed)
  • 1
    teaspoon
    kosher salt
  • 1
    teaspoon
    freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2
    cups
    good olive oil
  • 1
    cup
    freshly grated Parmesan

Directions:

  1. 1. Cook the fusilli and bow ties separately in a large pot of boiling salted water for 10 to 12 minutes until each pasta is al dente. Drain and toss into a bowl with the olive oil. Cool to room temperature.
  2. 2. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, puree the pesto, spinach, and lemon juice. Add the mayonnaise and puree. Add the pesto mixture to the cooled pasta and then add the Parmesan, peas, pignolis, salt, and pepper. Mix well, season to taste, and serve at room temperature.
  3. 1. To make the Pesto: Place the walnuts, pignolis, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 15 seconds. Add the basil leaves, salt, and pepper. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly pureed. Add the Parmesan and puree for a minute. Use right away or store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin film of olive oil on top.

Nutrition:

Calories: 570kcal
Fat: 35g
Saturated fat: 6g
Cholesterol: 18mg
Sodium: 710mg
Potassium: 359mg
Carbohydrates: 49g
Fiber: 4g
Sugar: 3g
Protein: 15g
Vitamin A: 3550%
Vitamin C: 12.5%
Calcium: 220%
Iron: 2.4%

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!