Tonight we had whole wheat fettucini with chicken, mushrooms and pesto cream sauce. I LOVE pesto. What’s not to love about fresh basil, cheese, garlic and pine nuts?! I never measure it when I make it but I tried to this time, so I could write it down. And, if pesto wasn’t good enough on its own, adding cream to it makes it exponentially better, of course.
1 chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces or whole
salt and pepper
Season chicken with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Heat oil in a pan. Add chicken and cook through. Slice into strips if you are using a whole breast.
3 tbsp toasted pine nuts (I usually toast an extra tbsp to put over the top of the pasta)
3 cloves garlic (I love garlic, feel free to use less)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup fresh basil
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, or as needed
salt to taste
To toast the pine nuts, just place them in a hot, dry pan over medium heat. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. Flip them around once or twice. It will only take a couple minutes. You’ll know they’re done because they’ll have darkened up a bit, and you can smell them.
In a food processor, pulse toasted pine nuts and garlic until combined. Add in basil and process. Add parm and process until combined.
Add olive oil in a steady stream while continuing to process, to desired consistency (I wouldn’t make it too oily, since it will be combined with cream). Season to taste.
1 tbsp butter
1/2 lb. fresh sliced mushrooms
1 tbsp flour
1/2 cup half and half (or cream)
salt and pepper to taste
Heat butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add mushrooms and cook until tender. Stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Add half and half and bring just to scalding (don’t boil it), simmer until slightly thickened. Stir in pesto and heat through. Season to taste.
Toss with pasta and chicken. Top with leftover pine nuts and parmesan cheese if desired.
Pasta with Pesto Cream