This past weekend I caught up with some friends over dinner. And before we knew it, we launched into an extensive and detailed conversation on how we believe that Pesto goes with practically anything.
Sandwiches, appetizers, crackers, pastas……….
P had even threatened to top the panna cotta I made for dessert with it but his wife quickly intervened. Okay…that may have been a bit much but I see where he was going with it.
I typically go on a major pesto binge when herbs are abundant at my local farmers market. It’s so easy to change things up with various herbs and whatever types of nuts you have on hand. And the awesome thing is— Pesto freezes beautifully! Just drizzle some olive oil on top before sealing the container and your fresh pesto can keep in the freezer for months! A quick and easy way to flavor dishes with yummy herbaceous notes.
This little number is a delicious and satisfying quick meal. PERFECT for any weeknight as you can pull it together in under 30 minutes! Easy Peasy!
And for an added spin, toss the pesto pasta with a cup of shredded cheese (of your choice) and spread into a casserole dish. Top with panko bread crumbs, more parmesan cheese and drizzle olive oil on top. Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees and you’ve got a hearty and tummy warming alternative dish!
Oh Pesto….I love you.
Creamy Pesto Rigatoni
1 Pound Chicken Breast, skinless and boneless
1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
1 Cup Pesto
1 Cup Grape Tomatoes, halved
1/4 Teaspoon Red Chili Flake
1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Pound Rigatoni Pasta
Slice chicken breast into strips and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Fill a large pot of water and bring it to a boil. Heavily salt the water and cook pasta according to directions.
In a heavy bottom pan, add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and brown the chicken. Once cooked, remove the chicken from the pan. Add an additional tablespoon of oil and cook garlic over medium heat for 1-2 minutes before tossing in the tomatoes and red chili flakes. Cook for about 2 minutes and stir in pesto. Heat the pesto and then stir in the heavy cream. Once incorporated, toss in the pasta, chicken, parmesan cheese and coat well. Check for seasonings and adjust with salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm.