A delicious lunch or dinner dish, this is simple to prepare and easy to make.
It is full of good, healthy ingredients and tastes oh so yummy! Jan makes it with whole wheat Fusilli as this dish is quite rich when made with shop-bought pesto, so the ‘brown’ pasta balances out the flavours better than ‘white’ pasta.
This quantity makes 2 generous servings. For more servings, just increase everything in proportion – except the oil; just increase quantity of oil slightly. There is about 15-minutes preparation time up to 3.5 hours before serving. Then cooking time is roughly 15 minutes. It can be part-way prepared a few hours or even a day or two ahead.
If you wish to avoid dairy-, this dish can be made using home-made pesto and vegan cheese or vegan pesto.
1 Chicken Supreme (approx 400g) cut into small cubes or small, thin slices
200g basil pesto, home-made OR 190g jar of classic basil pesto
Spinach leaves – couple of handfuls
Pine nuts – 2 dessert-spoons (approx 30g)
2 dessert spoons garlic-infused olive oil OR plain olive oil plus 2 dessert-spoons chopped garlic (fresh or frozen)
Seasoning (salt and black pepper) to taste
½ teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning or dried parsley
Approx 250g wholewheat Fusilli or other pasta
Grated fresh parmesan – optional
STEP 1: Two to three hours before cooking, place the chicken pieces in a small bowl with the garlic-infused olive oil OR the plain olive oil plus chopped garlic, and also the seasoning and the dried herbs. Stir well to ensure the chicken is well covered with the oil. Cover bowl with cling-film and place in the fridge.
STEP2: To cook the dish, place a non-stick wok or a large non-stick frying pan on a high heat on hob for around 30 seconds. To test if it is hot enough take one piece of chicken and add it to pan. If it sizzles, add the remainder. If not wait another 10 seconds or so then add all the chicken, turning it carefully to ensure every piece is thoroughly cooked.
If you wish part-way prepare it ahead; marinade and cook the chicken as directed above in steps 1 &2. When chicken is cooked, remove from pan with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl. When completely cool, it can be refrigerated for up to three days. Remove from fridge an hour before it is needed. When ready to complete the dish, reheat thoroughly in a saucepan or frying pan and then continue with Steps 3-6, below
STEP 3: Meanwhile, cook the Fusilli or other pasta in a large saucepan according to the instructions on packet.
STEP 4: Lower heat under chicken. Spoon the pesto over the chicken then add the spinach leaves and the pine nuts. Stir well and simmer gently for 2 to 3 minutes until gently bubbling.
STEP 5: Stir well, cover with a saucepan lid and turn off heat while you drain the pasta.
STEP 6: Serve immediately in warmed pasta bowls or on warmed plates. Serve with grated parmesan if wanted.
Do you have a homemade pesto recipe? Do share with us below!
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