Monday, September 17, 2012
Orecchiette with Spinach Pesto, Chicken & Tomatoes
Let's face it...While leftovers make for a fast and easy dinner, they can be very boring. So, I love dishes that allow you to take the leftovers and create a delicious yet different dinner on the 2nd night. This recipe is a fantastic example.
I took the remaining orecchiette pasta and spinach pesto from this Chicken with Spinach Pesto and whipped up this easy weeknight dinner for two. It makes for an easy-peasy dinner that's filled with flavor (not to mention - Popeye would be so proud of all that spinach!).
You simply cook some orecchiette pasta and stir in spinach pesto, baked chicken, and diced tomatoes. It pairs perfectly with a loaf of crusty French bread and a glass of pinot noir.
Easy meals like this are the theme around our house lately. We are in the process of doing some minor renovations to our home, which has turned out to be a lot of fun, yet a time-consuming process. So far, we've installed a beautiful cream-colored subway tile backsplash in the kitchen (which I'm in love with). We've also given the laundry room a MAJOR makeover with a fresh can of pretty light blue paint, a lovely new shelf and fun paintings that my sisters did a while back. That room makes me happy now. :) It's a far cry from the while walls and plain wire shelving that graced the room before. Our next project? Painting the living room grey. Woo hoo!
Bon Appetit, my friends!
Orecchiette Pasta with Spinach Pesto, Chicken & Tomatoes
(spinach pesto recipe adapted from Food Network magazine)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. of your favorite Italian 0r Greek seasoning
1 lb. orecchiette pasta
3 cups baby spinach
1/2 cup firmly packed fresh parsley
2 tablespoons almonds, toasted
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tomatoes, diced
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the chicken breasts in an ovenproof casserole dish and drizzle with 2 tbsp of the olive oil. Season with your favorite Greek or Italian seasonings.
Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
While the chicken is baking, make the pesto:
Puree the spinach, parsley, almonds, lemon juice, 3 tablespoons water, the grated parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and salt to taste in a food processor. Transfer to a bowl and set to the side.
Next, cook the pasta according to package directions.
Pour the cooked pasta into a large bowl. Cut the baked chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add the pesto, chicken and tomatoes to the pasta and mix together well.
Top with a little additional parmesan cheese, if desired.