Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Creamy Pesto Pasta

I love to cook. I also really, I mean really love to eat. Planning meals during the work week can become frustrating. There are a few meals that I tend to make over and over because not only are they good, but they are so easy to make! Those are the BEST meals. So for today's post, I wanted to share a runner's fav: Chicken and Pesto Pasta--it's seriously tasty.

I start with the chicken. I preheat the oven to 375 degrees. I season the chicken breasts with salt, pepper, a little olive oil and my secret weapon of flavor--Herb de Provence (it's a combination of Italian herbs and other delicious-goodness). After coating the chicken, I cover it in foil and toss it in the oven for a while.

Then, we move on to the tomatoes. I add some olive oil and a couple cloves of garlic to the pan on medium high heat. I let the garlic begin to sizzle (so that it flavors the oil) and then add some cherry tomatoes, some basil and again, hit it with a little salt. At this point, I turn the heat to low so that the garlic and the tomatoes don't burn. Cover the tomatoes with a lid! They will explode...and possibly take an eye out.

salt, garlic, olive oil, basil and some good ol' cherry tomatoes

Your pan should similar to this
Meanwhile, I begin boiling water for the pasta. I've used all types of pastas, for this particular demonstration, I was into the orecchiette look.

Throw those bad boys in the pot when the water starts boiling.

Now, check on the tomatoes. You will know that they are done when they are mushy and look something like this...

When the pasta is in, I start boiling water for the asparagus. Okay, so you may be, weird...asparagus? Well, when I cook, I like to add vegetables to my meals wherever I can. It actually tastes pretty wonderful in the pasta. You could add another type of vegetable if you aren't a fan or you could even omit veggies all together. But, this is how I do it personally. So asparagus is not in season right now so, I like to use frozen asparagus--it's cheaper and quicker to cook as well!

Throw it in!

While everything is cooking, I check on the chicken (make sure there is no pink!), remove the foil  and stick it back in a for another minute or two. Should look something like this (I swear its amazing, just isn't the most beautiful when it comes out of the oven). Side note--this is even better Barbecued . It is pure summertime heaven.

When the pasta is done, the asparagus is warmed and the tomatoes are simmered, it's time to put this beautiful masterpiece together!

I chop up the asparagus into bite-sized pieces.

Then we add the good stuff: feta cheese, pesto and a little cream.
So here's the thing...
1. You could make your own pesto (probably healthier to do so) but I like the easy route and I chose to buy my pesto (thank you Whole Foods!)
2. I like to add cream because, well, it just tastes better. I actually, typically use creme fraiche (it's like a fancy sour cream) but again, for this demo, we went with the heavy cream.
3. Here's my thing about the cream--I add like a tablespoon, maybe less. I know this is a healthy living blog but I am all about indulging here and there (everything in moderation). And! I say that if you are going to make this meal with some cream, give yourself a harder workout that day. I like to work for my food. I don't eat heavy food or desserts if I don't work for it. This is my own personal motto. Imagine how hard I work out on Thanksgiving! : ) 
Okay, so that's my quick rant and side note for this meal. Let's continue...add the good stuff!!

So now you plate the pasta and chicken together with a hefty glass of red wine to complete this meal.
It's so easy to make and tastes so good.
Plus, it's husband approved! : )

What is your go-to meal? 

1 comment:

  1. I make a pasta that is basically exactly the same just no pesto or cream... I love the ingredients! I add a little olive oil, lots of S&P, and some sort of crumbly cheese (goat or feta) it is my go to. I'll also throw in chicken meatballs or sausages if it is after work that way I don't have to worry about cooking the chicken = faster.