One pot creamy pesto chicken pesto

By Mary Mammoliti
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SERVES
4

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (450g) boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon (30ml) olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 pound (225g) dry penne
  • 1 1/2 cups (375ml) low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup (250ml) heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup (79ml) basil pesto
  • 1/4 cup (59ml) grated parmigiano reggiano*
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Don’t stop there! Layer the flavours by adding these extra ingredients

  • 3 cup (or 3 handfuls) fresh baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes

Directions

1. Cut the chicken breast into 1-inch pieces. Add the butter and olive oil to a deep skillet and heat. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook over medium heat until the chicken is slightly golden, about 5 minutes.

2. While the chicken is cooking, mince the garlic. Add the garlic to the skillet with the chicken and continue to sauté for 30 seconds.

3. Add the uncooked pasta and chicken broth to the skillet, and give it a good stir to lift those delicious golden bits from the bottom of the pan. Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring the broth up to a boil. Give it a good stir, lower the heat and simmer for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally throughout until the pasta is al dente and most of the broth has been absorbed. 

4. Once the pasta is cooked and most of the broth absorbed, add the cream Parmigiano Reggiano, and pesto. Stir and cook over medium heat until the liquid thickens up into a creamy sauce (about 2 minutes). 

5. If adding the fresh spinach and sliced sun-dried tomatoes, this is the time to add them. Stir until the spinach has wilted (about 1 minute), then remove the pasta from the heat, stir in the remaining tablespoon of butter, top the pasta with freshly cracked pepper and serve.

NOTES

*You can choose a wedge of Parmigiano Reggiano from the fridge and ask if they can grate it for you and don’t forget to ask for the rind! Add it to soups and sauces while they simmer for added flavour. 

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