I know the title of the recipe is extremely long but I didn't want to leave out any ingredients since they all add so much to the dish. This is, hands down, Ross' favorite meal that I make! If he had to pick one dish that I make to eat over and over and over again, this would be it. I originally got the recipe from All Recipes and have been making it about once or twice a month for years now. It's not the prettiest dish in the world, but what it lacks in color it makes up for in taste.
You start by cooking some chicken... or if you want to make it easy on yourself just shred up a rotessire chicken from the store. The sauce is fairly simple. It's a combination of chicken broth and pesto (the premade kind that you can buy in a store) that is cooked down with a little cornstarch to thicken it up. In the end it almost has the consistency of a creamy pesto sauce, but without all the fat! The sundried tomatoes and toasted pinenuts are added to the sauce, and them some feta is thrown in at the last minute. And don't foreget the fresh basil and fresh grated parmesan cheese for the perfect finishing touch. And yes, that IS basil from my garden that I grew myself! (I'm clearly very excited about this... it's a first for me)
Of course I have to do what I can to make the dish a little healthier. I always use whole wheat pasta; penne or rotini work best here. I use low sodium chicken broth because the salitness of the feta is enough. And I use the reduced-fat feta because honestly, I can't tell the difference. It would be super easy to make this dish vegetarian. Just swap out the chicken broth for vegetable broth, and add tofu instead of chicken.
Now as delicious as this dish is the night you make it, it really shines the next day. This is amazing cold! It make a great next day lunch. It also makes a great do ahead pasta salad if you're having company.
Recipe: Adapated from All Recipes
- 1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
- 3 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into bite size pieces
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoons cornstarch
- 3/4 cup prepared basil pesto
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 (16 ounce) package fusilli pasta
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- Cook chicken in oil with garlic in a large skillet over medium heat until done.
- Stir cornstarch into a couple of tablespoons of chicken broth. Stir remaining chicken broth, sun dried tomatoes, pesto, pine nuts, and basil into the skillet with the chicken. Mix cornstarch mixture into the sauce, and cook until thickened. Add feta a few minutes before serving.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain. Serve sauce over pasta, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.