Yummy, Yum, Yum! I'm particularly proud of this pesto! My teenaged step-son is wary of anything healthy and green. So you can imagine my delight when, after hesitantly taking a bite, he said, "It's definitely not how I thought it would taste. It's actually not bad." Seriously. This is the kid that thinks Pop-Tarts and pizza rolls are awesome. He has served as my guinea pig quite a few times during this six month-long cook-off of ours, and enjoyed almost everything. Well, I have formed an appreciation for pesto, finding that it's good with lots of stuff, not just pasta! But here's my version of the classic dish. Bon apetit!
SPINACH & BASIL PESTO WITH CHICKEN AND ANGEL HAIR PASTA
1-2 cups fresh spinach
1 cup fresh basil
2 large cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup pine nuts
¼ cup slivered almonds
½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup olive oil
2-3 chicken breasts or thighs
angel hair pasta
In a food processor, pulse to blend spinach, basil, garlic, nuts and cheese. Now, with processor on, slowly stream ¼ cup (or more as needed) olive oil. Set aside.
Pan-sear chicken pieces in olive oil, drain, and finish with a little salt. Boil pasta. Spoon about a half cup of pasta water into a large shallow pan over high heat to boil. Add pesto, then immediately add prepared pasta and mix well. Fold in prepared chicken, cut into bite-size pieces. If pasta seems a bit dry, add a little more pasta water.
Serve with buttered pieces of crusty sourdough.
"Food is never just food. It's also a way of getting at something else: who we are, who we have been, & who we want to be." -- Molly Wizenberg