Almond Pesto Pasta with Chicken & Italian Sausage

Almond Pesto Pasta with Chicken & Italian Sausage

I love making pastas—the possibilities are endless!

This little number combines a freshly made almond pesto (because I LOVE almonds in pesto) with Italian Sausage, Chicken Breast, and whole-wheat rotelle pasta. But SSSHHH! Don’t tell my brother-in-law I snuck in whole-wheat pasta into his dinner 🙂

The proteins I chose could be swapped out for anything you may have on hand including prawns or even grilled vegetables. Pastas, this one included, are a great way to clean out your refrigerator and pantry.

The end results are a savory and bright dish that is easy to make and even easier to gobble up. YUM!

Quick tips: Boil the pasta when you are browning the chicken and sausage. The heat from the freshly cooked pasta will help the pesto coat evenly. You can also add a few tablespoons of the pasta water as needed to “loosen” the sauce.

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Almond Pesto Pasta with Chicken & Italian Sausage
Makes 8 Servings

Ingredients:

1 Chicken Breast, sliced and seasoned with salt and pepper
½ Pound Italian Sausage
2 Cups Crimini Mushrooms, sliced
1/3 Cup Chopped Sun Dried Tomatoes (preserved in olive oil)
1 Tablespoon Fresh Garlic, finely diced
¼ Cup Shallots, sliced
½ Teaspoon Dried Chili Flakes
1½ Cups Almond Pesto*
1 Pound Pasta, cooked al dente
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

*Almond Pesto
1½-2 Packed Cups, Sweet Basil (approximately 1 bunch)
½ Cup Unsalted, Roasted Almonds
2-3 Garlic Cloves, finely diced
½ Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
Approximately ½ – ¾ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher Salt and Pepper to taste

Prepare Pesto. In a food processor, pulse garlic and almonds. Add basil, cheese, lemon juice, and salt/pepper. With the food processor on, stream in olive oil and blend until the pesto is fully incorporated. Be sure to scrape down sides in between steps. More olive oil can be added if a smoother, loose texture is desired. Refrigerate.

In a large and heavy bottom skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil from the sundried tomatoes. Add the sausage and sauté, crumbling, until golden but not cooked—about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove from pan. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook until almost done. Using a slotted spoon, remove from pan. Add the mushrooms, garlic, and shallots to the skillet and sauté until tender. Return the sausage and chicken to the pan and add chili flakes. Continue cooking until all the protein is done.

Add the freshly boiled pasta to the pan and toss. Add pesto and toss to coat all items thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Optional: Serve with additional Parmesan Cheese and Chili Flakes

Enjoy!

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