Thursday, February 5, 2009

Pesto Bruschetta Chicken Pasta

I'm not even kidding with this one.

Here's my never ending dilemma which, I'm sure, most of you experience on a regular basis. I get home from work and stand in front of the cupboards trying to figure out what's for supper. I stand there until ingredients pop out at me and I begin to concoct a dish that generally has no rhyme or reason. I call them "Cupboard Concoctions". In a perfect world I'd have supper planned out in advance but that's just not how we roll around here the majority of the time.

Tonight's Cupboard Concoction turned out pretty good so I thought I'd share. I really liked the sweetness of the jarred Bruschetta with the density of the pesto. It was a happy marriage. If you don't have access to jarred Bruschetta, leave it out and add what you have, that's what Cupboard Concoctions are all about.

This "recipe" make a large pot of pasta. Feel free to cut the recipe in half. Happy Cooking.

The partial assembly of ingredients. Photo taken AFTER the dish was made...Oy VEY.

Pesto Bruschetta Chicken Pasta

  • 1 pound box of pasta. I used Barilla Piccolini Mini Bowtie
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 c. pesto. I used homemade but use what you have.
  • 1 c. jarred bruschetta. I used Trader Joe's brand,again, use what you have.
  • 3 c. fresh spinach
  • 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Olive oil or chicken broth for sauteing.
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, in salted water. Reserve some of the cooking liquid to thin the sauce if needed.
  2. Drain pasta, return to pan, and stir in pesto. Stir to coat and keep warm on low heat. If the pasta seems too thick add a little of the reserved water until you get the right consistency.
  3. While pasta is cooking saute chicken breasts, in a little chicken broth or olive oil, until completely cooked through. Set aside to rest for a few minutes, then cut in to bite size pieces.
  4. Using the same skillet, or a new one if that's what does it for you, saute carrot and onion in a little olive oil until soft. I added a little pasta water at a time to help steam the carrots and bring up some of the chicken bits.
  5. Stir in spinach and still gently until spinach is wilted.
  6. Add jarred Bruschetta to vegetable mixture and cook over med-low until heated through. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.
  7. Combine the Bruschetta vegetable mixture with the Pesto pasta and stir to combine.
  8. Add in Parmesan cheese and a sprinkling of pepper flakes.

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