Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pasta with chicken, pesto, and tomatoes

I've made pesto only once before, the summer after my first year of college when I first discovered Mollie Katzen's Moosewood Cookbook. I was living in an apartment off-campus with a big kitchen and spent that summer making a lot of things from that cookbook (ratatouille, pita bread, pesto...) that were not part of my food experience growing up. It was a lot of fun, but a LOT of work to chop up all this stuff by hand.  Now that I'm all grown up and have a food processor, I'm finding that these recipes I tried once years ago are SO MUCH EASIER. I made this pesto in about 10 minutes; no chopping required. 

I used this recipe from the Food Network.  (I tend to use online recipes a lot for two reasons: I don't have to make a shopping list because I can just refer to the recipe on my iPhone while I'm in the store, and I like reading users' comments and suggestions for improvements/variations.)  I sauteed the chicken in some olive oil in the cast iron skillet (and used a tad less olive oil in the pesto to balance it out). When it was cooked, I added the cooked and drained pasta and the pesto, stirred to coat everything with the pesto, and added some chopped tomatoes. (The tomatoes don't need to be cooked -- just let them sit in with the pasta for 5 minutes to warm up if they've been in the fridge.)

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