Welcome to my second blog of the Southeast Meets Western Frontier series: "Pasta with Pesto Cream Sauce". Please forgive my picture-taking learning curve... You'll notice the ingredients are a little topsy-turvy.
I was super-excited about this recipe because I got to use my own basil plant. Unfortunately, while plucking basil leaves, I dislodged a spider into the nearby Parmesan cheese bowl. The Lesson: gardening is an outdoor sport for me. (And while this month's edition of Women's Health Magazine says 68% of women are OK killing spiders, I still prefer oblivion to the existence of spiders.)
I used the following ingredients:
- 3/4 cup fresh Thai Basil leaves (I imagine all basil will be delicious)
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts
- 2 garlic cloves peeled
- sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (from Morning Fresh Dairy Farms)
- 2 tablespoons butter (from Cabot Farms)
- 12 ounces Ronzoni Healthy Harvest 100% Whole Grain Pasta
- 2 large red tomatoes, diced
- 1 lb of chicken tenderloins
Step Two: Food Processor Magic
|The beautiful basil mixture... and tasty, too!|
I combined the washed basil leaves, 1/2 a cup of Parmesan cheese, the pine nuts, peeled garlic cloves, sea salt and black pepper in my food processor. While the food processor is running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil (if you have a small food processor without the opening, go ahead and add the oil along with the other ingredients). This will make a pretty green mixture as shown above.
Step Three: Creamy pesto sauce
|The pesto sauce.|
In a sauce pan, I heated the heavy cream and butter. To that, I added the green pesto from above. I let this simmer for a 5 minutes and added the final 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Stir. (and taste for the yum-effect!)
Step Four: Combine the pasta and pesto
|The final pasta salad.|
Step Five: Add protein
|My protein addition- basil chicken tenderloins.|
Step Six: Portions
This recipe feeds 8 people easily. I called one serving a 1/2 cup of the pasta salad and one chicken tenderloin. This yielded a serving of:
469 calories/ 37 g carbs/ 23 g fat/ 33 g protein per serving
Without the chicken tenderloin, the nutritional information is:
369 calories/ 37 g carbs/ 23 g fat/ 11 g protein per serving
- I stored this in the refrigerator for one week using it for lunch each day.
- I paired it with a big ruby red grapefruit each day.
- The hardest part of this recipe was definitely showing self-control in tasting the creamy pesto sauce... and fighting spiders ;)