Sunday, September 27, 2009

Basil Pesto

As happy as I was a few months ago when all of my little herb seedlings started sprouting up, I was beyond thrilled when I finally got to use them. This weekend I put some of my fragrant basil to use and made a delicious pasta with basil pesto and grilled chicken. I found myself licking the spatula to make sure there wasn't a drop wasted and didn't even get a picture of it plated up because we couldn't wait to dive in.

I tend to only make pesto in the summer when I have my own basil so I never remember what recipe I like to use. This time I started with a Giada De Laurentiis pesto recipe from Everyday Italian.

Spaghetti with Basil Pesto & Grilled Chicken
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 garlic clove (I used 2 or 3 - love garlic!)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more
1 pkg. Mrs. Leeper's corn spaghetti, cooked al dente (reserve 1 cup of pasta water)
2 chicken breasts, grilled and torn or cut into bite-sized pieces

Pulse basil, pine nuts, garlic, salt and pepper in food processor until finely chopped. Gradually add olive oil while continuing to blend until it reaches a smooth and thick consistency. Stir in the Parmesan cheese. Add pesto to pasta and mix. Add enough pasta water to thin to desired sauce consistency. Toss in chicken breast and serve topped with fresh grated Parmesan.

"Basil - an Indispensable Herb of French Cuisine." Online Image. French Culinary Blog - Made in Cantal. No date. 9-27-09 .

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