Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta

This dish could have had any number of titles because there are so many great flavors combined: pesto, sun dried tomatoes, spinach, pine nuts, lemon.  I kind of kept adding what sounded good to me, and it came out great.  The whipping cream is definitely optional.  I happened to have some I was trying to use up, but I've made it without and it is great, too.  Last time I made it I also added crushed bacon.  I didn't have any ready this time, so I left it out.  Just be aware that bacon is such a strong taste that if you add it, it will probably over power many of the other flavors.  

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta

1 package noodles (I used penne)
1/2 c. basil pesto (I used Classico brand, found with the spaghetti sauce at the grocery store)
1/2 c. water (reserved from the noodles)
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 c. whipping cream
2 big handfuls of spinach
1/3 c. sun dried tomatoes
1/3 c. pine nuts
salt and pepper to taste
1 chicken breast, cut into chunks
lemon pepper seasoning

Cook your noodles according to the package directions.  While the noodles are cooking, cook your chicken chunks in a little oil in a frying pan, sprinkled with lemon pepper (I sprinkled generously).  When the noodles are cooked, drain them and reserve 1/2 c. of the water.  Put the noodles back in the pan and add the water, basil pesto, lemon juice, whipping cream and salt and pepper.  Stir gently until it is all combined.  Gently stir in the chicken, sun dried tomatoes, spinach and pine nuts.  Serve it with Parmesan cheese. 

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