Oh be still my beating heart! I knew when I saw this recipe that I was going to HAVE to make it. I LOVE pesto, and just when I thought nothing could beat the homeade stuff (I'm pretty proud of my pesto), I found a brand at the grocery store that was pretty dang good! Now I have a little left over to spread over my bread, mix in with my eggs, or just eat off with a spoon (no I would never do that...or would I!). Anyway, it's Buittoni, and it's in the refrigerator section, often with their specialty foods. If you are a pesto lover, you will love this recipe.
This recipe comes from Cooking Light and makes a TON. Even when halving it, I still ended up with about two servings leftover. Just thought you should know! :-)
1 3/4 pounds skinless. boneless chicken breast halves
1 tsp salt divided
3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper divided
20 ounces uncooked farfalle (bowtie pasta)
1 TB butter
3 garlic cloves minced
1 1/2 cups 1 % low-fat milk, divided
2 TB all purpose flour
1 (3.5 ounce) jar pesto-about 1/3 cup (I used quite a bit more!)
3/4 half and half (get fat free, it's just as good)
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
4 cups halved grape tomatoes (about two pints)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
Directions1. Prepare grill to medium high heat.
2. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Place chicken on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 10 minutes, or until done, turning after 6 minutes. Remove from grill; let stand 5 minutes. Cut chicken into 1/2 inch pieces; keep warm
3. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain in colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Place pasta in a large bowl.
4. Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Combine 1/2 cup milk and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Stir in pesto. Gradually add remaining 1 cup milk and half-and-half, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook 8 minutes or until sauce thickens, stirring frequently. Add 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid, remaining 3/4 tsp salt, remaining 1/2 tsp pepper, and 1 cup cheese; stir until cheese melts.
5. Add chicken and sauce to pasta, tossing well to coat. Add tomatoes and basil; toss gently. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese. Serve immediately. Yield: 10 servings.