For our first weekend inspiration we listed off a number of exciting summer pastas from great blogs around the web. One that particularly inspired us was this pea pesto, from Smitten Kitchen. Having just had a nice birthday dinner featuring some pesto pasta, we were intrigued by the notion of making a pesto out of peas.
|I'm intrigued by the notion of a nap.|
At the same time, we also wanted something a little more....luscious. Delicious. Savory sweet. And we were really in the mood for chicken. So this simple pea pesto wasn't going to quite cut it. We decided to do a little experimenting and using the pea pesto as a base, the result was this deliciously luscious fusilli with creamy pea pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, and chicken.
Making the Dish
What You'll Need
(Serves: 2 - 3)
1/2 lb fusilli or other pasta
1 cup pea pesto
1 whole chicken breast sliced thinly
5 sun-dried tomatoes sliced thinly
1/4 cup light cream
1 tbsp olive oil
|Rinsing peas under cold water, post-blanche|
We started off by preparing Smitten Kitchen's pea pesto almost to the letter. Almost, because pine nuts are ridiculously expensive in our local supermarket for some reason, so instead, we switched them out with some walnuts. Just as yummy, half the price.
|Pea pesto, with walnuts, in it's pre-pulsed form|
Add all of the ingredients into a food processor and give it a pulse, pushing it down on the sides with a spatula, and then pulsing again, this time drizzling in the olive oil.
Pretty easy, and boy, it's tasty! This definitely could be a dish on it's own.
|Can I have?|
|Chicken and sun-dried tomato sautéing together|
While that's going, slice up your other ingredients. We sliced the chicken and sun-dried tomatoes into thin long strips. Then, in a non-stick pan heat up a touch of olive oil over medium heat. Start to sauté the chicken, and when it's almost done, add in the sun-dried tomatoes and cook until the chicken is done.
|Adding the pesto and remaining peas to the chicken and sun-dried tomato mixture|
Now the fun starts. Add in your pesto and the remaining peas. Stir together with the chicken and sun-dried tomatoes. You'll notice that it's not very sauce-like yet, and this is where the real trick comes in. Drizzle in about a quarter cup of light cream or half and half. Oh yes. It'll cut through the tang of the pesto and turn this into a nice creamy sauce. Stir to incorporate, and let simmer for a few minutes while the pasta finishes.
Drain your pasta, reserving a touch fo the pasta water if needed, and top with your pesto chicken mixture. Toss over high heat to combine and let the flavors marry. If it needs to be a little more saucy, feel free to add in some of the pasta water. Then serve it up with a nice shaving of parmigiano cheese.
|Tossing the pasta with the creamy pea pesto sauce.|
This hit the spot! It was exactly what we wanted, and truly delicious. The cream was a great addition to the pesto, giving it a milder flavor that blended exceptionally well with the chicken. The sund-dried tomatoes give this a somewhat sweet flavor throughout. And the pea pesto is an excellent base that pulls this all together.
Considering how quick and easy this is, we'll definitely be trying it again! Stay tuned for our next weekend inspiration coming this Friday! And let us know - did any of the summer pastas inspire you?