Chicken and Broccoli Pea-Pesto Pasta
Feeds 3 - 4
I must confess, for such a simple dish, I screwed this up first time round...and I've made it multiple times before. I always underestimate how much basil I need; baring in mind that i did buy three packets of the stuff, still wasn't enough. But don't fret, round 2 turned out beautiful, basil-y, and deeelicious.
You guys might be thinking 'this is too much work when I can just buy pesto in a jar'. You are absolutely right, and I will not hold you to it, however, grating fresh parmesan, eating toasted pine nuts, and having loads of fresh basil ain't something you're gonna get from those jars. ALSO! VEGAN FRIENDS! HELLO! You can make this dish vegan so easy.
This is such a filling and satisfying dish that we Londoners eat all the time; i'm just here to elevate it slightly and help you forego those pesto pots once in a while.
Play around with the ratios of the pine nuts, parmesan, oil, and basil if the flavour isn't to your desire. Add a little bit more of each until you are happy with the taste and consistency.
Fusilli is my favourite pasta to use for this recipe but other short pastas could be used - i.e. macaroni - if you don't have any spiral pastas.
Why not try some other veg in this? Zucchini, cauliflower, or fresh cherry tomatoes even.
Vegan/Vegetarian: Take away the chicken (obviously), find some vegan parmesan, and you're all good to go methinks.
3 cups of fusilli pasta, cooked
4 tablespoons of extra olive oil
3 chicken breasts
2 cups of broccoli florets, steamed
2 cups of frozen peas, steamed
2.5 cups of packed basil leaves
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup of pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup of parmesan
1 tablespoon of salt
1 tablespoon of pepper
Preheat your oven to 220℃ (428℉).
Place your chicken breasts on a baking tray. Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil over your chicken breasts and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Put in the oven for 18 minutes. Once out of the oven, let the chicken rest for a couple of minutes and then cut into large cubes and set aside.
Blend together your basil leaves, half of your pine nuts, olive oil, parmesan, 1/2 cup of the steamed peas, and 1 tbsp of salt and pepper each (or more to taste).
Mix the pesto sauce through your pasta, add in your chopped chicken, steamed broccoli, the rest of your peas, the rest of your pine nuts, and another shaving of parmesan if you want more cheese.
Squeeze the lemon over the pasta right before serving, then stir through until everything is coated in pesto.