One of our favorite herbs from the garden is sweet basil, which we love making pesto with. Don't worry though if you do not own a basil plant, you can always get a pack of basil at the supermarket for under RM2 and make this.
Pesto Pasta with Oven-Roasted Chicken
Making pesto is super simple, especially if you are using a food processor. Just place everything in there and blitz until you get a paste. To make our dinner more substantial, we served our pesto pasta with oven-roasted chicken. You can also use a grill pan to cook it, though using the oven would be less messy. We use chicken breast as it's leaner and healthier, but equally delicious!
Pesto pasta is one of my kid's favorite pasta so they were delighted to see this at the dinner time. Loved the marinade for the chicken, making the chicken really tasty and tender. This recipe is a keeper, one I would be making over and over again! :)
Funny pasta-eating faces!
Pesto pasta with oven-roasted chicken
Recipe by Baby Sumo
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
2 quantity homemade pesto (recipe here)
300-350g dried spaghetti
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
8-10 cherry tomatoes, halved
A handful walnuts
Basil leaves, roughly torn
Extra virgin olive oil
For the chicken
1 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 tbsp cooking oil
For the marinade
1 clove garlic, crushed to a paste
1 large pinch of salt
1 tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1/4 lemon
1 tsp whole cumin seeds, roughly ground
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1. First, clean the chicken breast and then cut each piece into half lengthwise and crosswise. This will cut down cooking time. Place marinade ingredients in a bowl, and mix well, then rub all over the chicken breasts and leave to marinade for at least 2 hours in the fridge.
2. To make the pesto: please refer to recipe here. You can place all ingredients in a food processor to save time. Once the pesto is ready, set aside in the fridge with a covering of olive oil.
My kids always have fun making pesto at home!
3. For the chicken:
To cook in oven: Preheat oven to 200°C (roast mode). Line the baking tray with foil, and brush lightly with oil. Then place marinated chicken on the tray in a single layer. Roast in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, until cooked through. Season chicken with more salt, if necessary.
To cook on hob: Alternatively, heat 1/2 tablespoon of oil in a large grill pan over high heat. Once the pan is hot, place chicken down, and turn heat down to medium heat. Cook the chicken breasts just until golden brown and cooked through, about 5-6 minutes each side. Season chicken with more salt, if necessary.
4. To prepare the pasta: Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water over medium high heat until al dente, stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking, about 8-10 minutes. Drain the spaghetti and place in a large bowl. Then add the pesto and toss to coat. Add some olive oil (about 1 tbsp) if it seems a little dry.
5. To serve: Using a two-pronged carving fork, swirl some of the pasta around the fork. Slide the pasta off the fork and mound it in the center of a plate. Repeat for each serving. Cut each chicken breast on a slight diagonal into 6-8 thin slices. Arrange the chicken slices alongside the spaghetti.
6. Garnish with the cherry tomatoes, shaved Parmesan cheese, walnuts and torn basil leaves.
(Note: We do like our pasta with lots of pesto, however if you're having this for the first time, try with 1 quantity pesto and gradually add more to your liking).
*I am submitting this to LTU: Noodles/Pasta hosted by Anne of My Bare Cupboard.
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