Monday, December 20, 2010

Pesto Linguine with Chicken and Tomatoes

The brothers are home for Christmas so we decided to have a good ol' fashioned family dinner at the parent's house last night. I regret not having a camera to document the meal, but I'm sure I will make it again soon. We joke that every family gather meal involves fajitas or Bubba's, so Italian food was the verdict. Max Man and I had a delicious date night recently and he had ordered a simple basil pesto linguine with chicken - it was wonderful! So, I decided to make that, adding a little half and half to make it a creamy pesto.

Grocery List (for 6):
- 1 box linguine
- Chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 cups packed basil leaves
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
- 1/4 cup parsley
- 3 cloves garlic
- Balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup half & half
- Cherry tomatoes, halved and pitted

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Start by trimming your chicken breasts and pound them to about 1 inch thick, if not already.

Take your basil leaves, parsley, garlic and pine nuts and grind in the food processor. Start adding the olive oil slowly and process, until all is used. Finally, add the Parmesan cheese. Next, spoon and spread a little of this pesto over the chicken breasts and put in the oven to cook for 20 minutes.

Next, take your halved tomatoes and saute them in a skillet with olive oil and about a tablespoon worth of balsamic vinegar. Let them pucker and soak in the flavors!

Last, boil your noodles until al dente. While the noodles are boiling, take the pesto from the food processor and put in a small sauce pan. Let it heat up and add about 1/4 cup's worth of half & half. Once your noodles have been boiled and drained, take the pesto cream sauce and toss with the pasta until well coated.

To serve, create a bed of noodles to top with the chicken breast and spoon the tomatoes over the chicken and pasta. Garnish with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese. Close your eyes and imagine the sight and the aromas of basil, garlic and sweet tangy tomatoes.... mmmmm.

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