This dish is all about big flavor concentration and with only 5 main ingredients, it's easy to get there! Nutty roasted garlic, sweet roasted tomatoes, and fresh basil pesto with hearty whole wheat pasta make the perfect well-rounded and healthy meal. With the ingredients available all year round, you can make this meal a permanent one in your dinner rotation!
1 cup prepared pesto
2 chicken breasts
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
1 lb whole wheat pasta
salt and pepper
extra virgin olive oil
-place garlic and 1 1/2 tbs. olive oil in a small sauce pan
-simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes, until garlic is golden brown and nutty smelling
-meanwhile, slice tomatoes in half, drizzle with about 1 tbs. olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper
-place tomatoes on a baking sheet in a 400 degree oven, and cook for about 20 minutes
-season chicken with salt and pepper, and cook on the grill
-let chicken cool, then slice thinly (1/8" thick), set aside
-boil large pot of water, cook pasta as directed
-drain pasta, place back into cooking pot
-mix in pesto, garlic, tomatoes, and chicken
-place pasta into a serving dish, or portion out, and enjoy!
This recipe was inspired by my Aunt Suzy and Uncle Len who always provide us with homemade pesto, and delicious pesto pasta!
TIPS and ADAPTATIONS:
-Leave out the chicken for a vegetarian dish, or try instead of chicken try it with sliced turkey breast or steak.
-You don't have to grill your chicken, it can be cooked in the oven or in a pan, or you can even use a super market rotisserie chicken.
-Don't want to overload on garlic? Add a couple spoonfuls of chopped walnuts or pine nuts instead of the extra roasted garlic.
-Mix in some: sauteed mushrooms, artichoke hearts, caramelized onions, peas, and/or asparagus.
-Allow the noodles to cool, and make it a yummy cold pasta salad.
-Instead of roasting your own tomatoes, take a shortcut and chop up jarred sundried tomatoes or you can use a fresh chopped tomato too.
-Spice it up with a good spoonful of red pepper flakes.
-Use whatever type of pasta you prefer: whole wheat, regular, gluten free, short pasta, spaghetti...