Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Pesto Chicken Pasta

More carbs... I know, I know.  Italian is probably my favorite category of food, hence the many pasta recipes.  This is a meal I've been making for a while, and enjoy it every time.  I threw a bunch of stuff together one night, and it turned out amazing.  I'm also a huge fan of pesto, so anything that incorporates pesto I think is tasty!
Asparagus is very photogenic.  I chopped up stems of asparagus into thirds, small enough that they were bite size.
Cut up two chicken breasts into bite size pieces.
Pesto is ready to go!  One day I'm going to attempt to make my own pesto, but until then I find the jar of Classico Pesto works very well.
Cook chicken in a large pan over medium heat until almost completely cooked through, around 6-8 minutes.
Add in asparagus, and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Turn down heat if you feel the asparagus is cooking too fast.
Stir in heavy cream until spread evenly, then add pesto.
Stir until pesto is evenly distributed in the chicken cream mixture.  Cook over low heat until heavy cream has reduced in half.
Serve mixture over pasta or potatoes.  I've done both, but found I like pasta better.  If you want a healthier version make sure you use whole wheat pasta, I also sometimes mix the heavy cream with skim milk.  If you decide to try this make sure you continuously stir while the sauce is cooking; the milk cooks faster than cream.
I love everything about this meal: pasta, asparagus, pesto, cream.  It's a rich, and offers a lot of different textures.  Crunchy from the veggies, smooth from the cream and pasta.  This is another example of a quick dinner you can throw together during the week, and great to make for one person!

Pesto Chicken Pasta
*serving size is for two, with a little leftover :)
2 chicken breasts, chopped into bite size pieces
15-20 asparagus stems, cut in thirds
3 tablespoons pesto *you can always add more if you want a stronger flavor
1 1/2 cups heavy cream *or 3/4 heavy cream, 3/4 skim milk
pasta or potatoes for whatever serving size you need

Cook chicken in a large pan over medium heat until almost cooked through, around 6-8 minutes.
Add asparagus pieces, cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Add in heavy cream, and stir until well combined.
Add pesto and stir until evenly distributed.
Cook over low until the cream has reduced in half.
Serve over pasta or potatoes. 

1 comment:

  1. Asparagus is both photogenic and tasty. I'm a bit of a pasta purist, but I have to be honest- I like whole wheat pasta- I think it has a little more bite and texture and generally feels more rustic than most dry pastas.