Got the name of this recipe down?
Now… say that ten-times fast!!
This was a fabulous dish, to say the least. Nothing is better than fresh basil pesto, asparagus, and pasta on a lovely Bay Area day!
What I love the most about the basil pesto sauce is the freshness of it. I’ve bought ready-made packets and jars at the store before, and although those are good in a pinch if you need something quick, if I can help it (and I have time for it), I like to make my own from scratch.
This sauce is great. And although most recipes will call for pine nuts, I was inspired to use toasted walnuts instead. We even have a recipe here on Foodal featuring additional of lemon zest or juice. Give it a try!
This recipe was complemented very nicely by a side of tomato basil bruschetta on cracked whole wheat sourdough bread.
For another great pasta recipe featuring this fresh herb sauce, try our recipe for summery pesto pasta salad with fresh peas.
- For the pesto, I substituted toasted walnuts for the pine nuts. I also dumped the entire batch of sauce into the dish, but I may use less of it when I make it next time just so it doesn’t look so saturated – we’re talking SUPER GREEN. Depending on your personal preference, my advice would be to add half of the pesto to start off with and adjust to your liking. But even with the full amount, it tasted fabulous and was not overwhelming to the flavor of the dish at all! (I sure wish I had some to eat right now…)
- I’m in love with my new pepper mill – if you don’t have one already, get a GOOD one and thank me later.
- I’d like to explore using this sauce on homemade pasta if I get the chance.
‘Twas a good selection is what I interpreted from the “Babe, this is good!” that I heard from hubby, and the kids came around when the pasta was finally described as “butterflies,” along with other methods of coaxing. The kids put forth an overall pass on the asparagus but managed to enjoy the pasta and chicken, although Little K did continue his food testing ritual of putting the asparagus in his mouth, chewing for a little bit, then spitting it all out.
Coaxing was not as easy the following day for Little K (oddly enough, he’s the kid that is more open to food in general). However, Big K did a wonderful job of cleaning his plate once he got into the groove of “green food is okay to eat.” Perhaps there are dishes kids consider one-hit wonders? Something about green food is just not appealing to my kids. However, I personally love asparagus.
I really liked the added touch of the sun-dried tomatoes. I was getting a little obsessed with wanting to have one with each bite! Trader Joe’s has a really good one that’s packed in olive oil, and that is what I used for this recipe.
Definitely! We will be making again!
Basil Pesto Chicken Pasta with Asparagus and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Yield = 6-8 servings
- 1 12-oz. box farfalle (bow-tie) noodles
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bunch of asparagus, washed and cut into 2-inch lengths
- 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and chopped
- 1/2-1 cup Basil Pesto Sauce (recipe to follow)
- Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Grill or cook in a skillet over medium-high heat until lightly browned on the outside and cooked through. Slice into thin bite-sized pieces.
- Steam asparagus over and inch of water in a large pan until fork tender.
- Toss pasta, chicken, asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes, and pesto together in a bowl, starting with 1/2 cup of pesto and adding more to your liking.
Basil Pesto Sauce
Yield: 1 cup
- 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts (toasting is optional)
- 3 medium-sized garlic cloves, minced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Combine the basil with the pine nuts, and pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, and pulse a few times more.
- Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Did you love this tasty recipe? Be sure to check out some of these other pesto-enhanced dishes:
- Portobello Burgers with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
- Camembert Cheese & Pistachio Basil Pesto Bruschetta
- Caramelized Onion, Mushroom, and Pesto Pizza
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About Lynne Jaques
Lynne is a stay-at-home mother of two boys. As a former US military officer and the spouse of an active duty US military member, Lynne enjoys traveling the world (although not the moving part!) and finding new cuisine and methods of preparing food. She also has the habit of using parenthesis way too much!