Sunday, July 31, 2011

Pesto with Chicken and Fettuccine

I have been craving chicken lately. A LOT!!! So Spike humored me and we made Pesto w/ Chicken and Fettuccine tonight. Yum! Since Spike was involved in the process I actually have exact measurements for you this time. What can I say? He’s an engineer.

Cast of Characters:

2 C. fresh basil leaves, packed
¼ C. parmesan cheese
½ C. olive oil
3 T. pine nuts or walnuts (I prefer pine nuts but he didn’t have any so walnuts it was)
3 garlic cloves, finely minced

2 chicken breasts
Season (whatever you prefer)

First of all, plant basil in the Spring and wait for it to get big, dark green leaves. Then, if you’re having the kind of summer Oklahoma is enjoying, try to find decent, unwithered leaves to use in your pesto. If you don’t have basil plants or yours have withered away in to nothingness you can go to the store and get “fresh” basil. Let me warn you though. It’ll cost you unless you just happen to know where to get a lot…cheap. I know of no such place so straight to the back yard we go.

Second, toast your nuts (insert witty comment here). Spike usually burns these because he tries to work on other things at the same time but he stayed put tonight and they turned out just fine.

Put about 1/3 of your basil in a food processor and chop until you have teensy tinesy pieces. Add 1/3 of the garlic and nuts, blend again. Add 1/3 of the cheese (Spike didn't have parm so we used romano instead) and blend while slowly adding 1/3 of the olive oil.
That last bit is what the recipe says to do. Spike just stops the processor and adds the oil. I don’t think it matters either way. Stop on occasion to scrape down the sides of the container. Blend until you have a thick, smooth paste.
Repeat until all ingredients, minus the chicken, seasoning and fettuccine, have been added.
Set aside while you cook your pasta and chicken.

I wasn’t going to take pictures of the pasta but I guess I was beginning to annoy Spike by sticking the camera right in front of what he was working on and he decided to be cute. “Are you gonna take a picture of the water boiling?” Why yes…yes, I am.
And the pasta in the boiling water too.
So there. Ha! I sure showed him.

While your pasta is boiling go ahead and cook your chicken. I like mine just a little golden on the outside.
I also like to sneak a couple pieces while Spike is in his back yard cutting more basil. This is the seasoning I used on the chicken. It was pretty tasty.

Add a tablespoon or two of the pesto mixture to your pasta and chicken once they're in the individual pasta bowls. Or add more. It's all a matter of taste. If you like, you can top it with more cheese. This may not look very appetizing to some of you but I assure you it is delicious!

And this is what your bowl should look like at the end of the meal. Happy eating!

Oh! Just a warning…don’t fix this for a date unless you’re to the "comfortable with each other" stage. Nothing says, “There’s no chance on God’s green earth I’m kissing you any time soon,” like green bits in your teeth. I would mention garlic breath but if you’re both eating it then who cares?

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