Monday, January 31, 2011

Creamy Pesto Pasta

Have you been to Malawi's? Have you heard of Malawi's? Well, if you live in the Provo area chances are you have at least heard of it and if not well, you have now. Rodrigo and I had our first experience with the "Malawi Pizza Project" or"Pizza with a purpose" for our anniversary. We decided to give Malawi's a try. We ordered a pasta dish "Creamy Pesto Pasta" and a pizza "Island Retreat". They were both scrumptious!!! Rodrigo turned to me and asked if I could make the pasta at home? I said sure with a little research. Didn't take long...I found a recipe that was similar even in name at one of my favorite foodie blogs OUR BEST BITES I used the recipe I found as the scaffolding for my own recipe and tweaked it to be more like a "copy cat" Creamy Pesto Pasta from Malawi's. (PS. You gotta try this place! They donate a meal to children in Africa with every meal purchased. Also they use fresh and healthful ingredients in all their dishes!) A healthful dinner and you give back. Boy did I ever feel good after that dinner :)

Enough of my long-windedness!

1/2 batch Guiltless Alfredo Sauce (complements of Our Best Bites)
1 container of Basil Pesto (found in refrigerator pasta section)
5 fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 Lemon garlic chicken breasts, cut into very small bite sizes
1 bunch asparagus, blanched
1/2-1 cup pasta water
1/2 lb pasta of choice - we used Rigatoni
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved

Now to begin...

First things first -
Marinate your chicken for at least two hours then place in a greased shallow baking dish covered at 350 degrees for 45 min uncover and place under broiler for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. It will look a little somethin yummy like this...

once it is cooled chop it finely like this and set it aside for later great things.

Next - cook the pasta according to directions for aldente. BEFORE YOU DRAIN the pasta please reserve a cup of the pasta water for when we blend all this yumminess together.
Now - blanche the asparagus - prepare the asparagus by removing the woody parts. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add salt and asparagus and cook for at post 2 min. remove the asparagus and place under running cold water to stop the cooking process. Once cooled allow to drain. After they are drained chop into 1 inch pieces.

Combine 1/2 batch of "guiltless alfredo sauce" and the container of pesto and blend to make the "creamy pesto"

In a large bowl place the pasta, the asparagus, the chicken, and the creamy pesto. Toss to blend. The ingredients will be somewhat pasty so now is when you use the "pasta water" adding about 1/4 cup at a time and blending until the sauce is smooth and creamy instead of gooey.

Place in individual serving dish and garnish with parmesan cheese, chiffoned basil, and tomatoes like so...
Serves 4-5 people.

1 comment:

Caroline Brock said...

This looks fantastic!! I will definitely try it soon. Thanks for the recipe!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin