Chicken Pesto Pasta

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Absolutely one of the easiest family suppers ever ever – and I’m not averse to doing this with a jar of ready made pesto but making your own really does add to the flavour and its so simple.

I’ve used Orzo pasta this time but just choose your favourite as it really works with anything from spaghetti to fusilli. The recipe is based on serving 4 people although the fresh pesto makes enough for double this amount and I freeze the rest in an ice cube tray so I can use it whenever I like.

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Fresh Chicken Pesto Pasta – serves 4

Pesto

100g fresh basil

125ml virgin olive oil

3 tbsp pine kernels

3 garlic cloves crushed

1 tsp salt

55g freshly grated parmesan

30g freshly grated pecorino

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Filling

4 chicken breasts

2tbsp pine kernels

1tbsp olive oil

splash water/ white wine

300g dried pasta

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Parmesan shaving to finish

Method

To make the pesto, place all the pesto ingredients in a food processor and whizz until combined – yup its that simple!

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For the rest of the filling warm the 1 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan, dice the chicken breast and season lightly with salt and pepper, fry until nice and golden brown with bits sticking to the pan.

When the chicken has started to cook boil a large pan of water and cook the pasta according to the packet instructions (it usually takes about 10 minutes unless its ‘quick cook’).

Whilst the chicken and pasta are cooking dry fry the remaining pine kernels until lightly golden brown, watch and agitate them as once they turn, they brown very quickly and are easy to burn.

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After 10/15minutes the chicken will have a lovely golden colour, add a splash of water or white wine to ‘deglaze the pan’. This will get all those lovely sticky bits off the bottom of the pan and re-coat the chicken pieces.

Turn off the heat while you drain the pasta. Rinse the pasta with hot boiled water and give it a good shake before you return it to the pan you cooked it in. Stir in 2/3 tablespoons of pesto and throw in the chicken.

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To serve plate up the pasta and chicken and top with shavings of parmesan and the toasted pine kernels.

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