Monday, March 30, 2009

Presto, Pesto

My basil plant is getting a little out of control. I have been using the leaves here and there for spaghetti, pasta salad or to spice up a panini sandwich or two. But none of that seemed to tame this wild beast, so I decided it was time for pesto.
I've gotten a little attached to the thing and felt a little bit like I was sacrificing a good friend for dinner. (Although the picture above is after dinner so as you can see it didn't really make a dent.)
Pesto is super easy and very yummy.
This is what I did:

1 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup Parmesan
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts (I used sunflower seeds.)
3 medium sized garlic cloves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mix in a food processor until it becomes a thick paste.

Boil 6 oz. rigatoni

Pan fry two chicken breasts (I cut them into smaller pieces before frying.)
To pan fry chicken, first dredge the chicken in flour seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic salt. Heat about two tablespoons of oil in a frying pan and cook the chicken on both sides until golden brown.

I then mixed the pasta, pesto and chicken together in the pan (allow the pan to cool before adding pasta to avoid spattering).

Serve immediately. This makes dinner for two and a half. (Ainslie loved the rigatoni because it was big enough for her to slide onto her finger before eating it off. Silly girl.)