Pesto Pasta

-with- Italian Veggies

Another addition to our pesto collection! This delicious recipe is already loaded with veggies but if you’re looking for an extra serving of greens, consider pairing with our Parmesan Arugula Salad. Make sure to save your leftovers for an easy lunch tomorrow. 

 

 

Prep and Cook Time: 45 minutes

Yields: 2 servings

Ingredients: 
1 recipe Hearty Pine Nut Pesto
1 TBSP olive oil
1 red onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 bell peppers, assorted colors, sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 TBSP Balsamic vinegar
1 TBSP oregano
2 tsp basil
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp red pepper flakes 
Salt and pepper to taste
2 medium chicken breast tenderloins, cut into strips
2 cups whole grain rotini or other desired pasta
2 cups spinach or chopped kale (optional)
Parmesan or other Italian cheese, freshly grated

 

Directions: 

  1. Prepare pesto sauce. Set aside.

  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in onions and garlic and sauté until onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add peppers, tomatoes, vinegar, and spices. Cover and cook for 7-10 minutes. 

  3. Fill a large pot ⅔ full with cool water. Place over medium-high heat, cover, and bring to boil. 

  4. Add chicken breast to veggie mix and stir. Partially cover pan to allow excess water to boil off. Cook over medium heat until chicken is no longer pink in center, 10 – 15 minutes. 

  5. Add pasta to boiling water. Cook uncovered for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta. Return to pot and stir in pesto sauce. 

  6. Add greens to veggie mix as desired. Allow to soften for 1-2 minutes. 

  7. Serve chicken and veggies over pasta. Or treat veggie mix as an entrée with pasta as a side. Garnish with grated cheese as desired. 

Notes:

 

  • This is one of my very favorite summer recipes. Its light, fresh, and full of bright flavors. But I used to stress about the pasta in this recipe. We’ve been conditioned to believe that pasta is unhealthy no matter what. But the truth is pasta can be a nutritious source of carbohydrates. Think of pasta as a side dish and pair with a good source of protein and vegetables for a balanced meal.

  • I often substitute Italian sausage for the chicken breast in this recipe. I’ve had good luck finding Italian style chicken or turkey sausage at my local Mariano’s (Kroger for those of you outside Chicagoland). Otherwise, traditional pork Italian sausage is delicious too! Roast sausage in oven set to 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until probe thermometer reads 170 degrees.