Friday, March 1, 2013

Chicken Linguine with Basil Avocado Pesto

First off, I know what you're thinking... avocado? in pesto...? Huh.  Well, trust me friends, this is a match made in culinary heaven.  Creamy avocado blended with fresh basil and olive oil... mmm, mmm, mmm!  I made the sauce the day before since I already had my food processor out to make Annalyn a toddler version of this dish (recipe coming soon!).  I stored it in the fridge and it was perfect as ever the next day (the lemon juice even kept the avocado from browning).   Plus there was less of a mess to clean up once the Niedermeyers got here for dinner.  Here's how Mama makes it:

Chicken Linguine with Basil Avocado Pesto

for the sauce
- 2 T. minced garlic
- 2 T. fresh lemon juice
- 2 T. olive oil
- 2 ripe avocadoes
- 1/2 to 3/4 c. fresh basil
- 1/4 c. fresh baby spinach
- 1 t. salt
- 1/2 t. pepper
- pasta water, as needed to achieve desired consistency

for the pasta:
- 1 package linguine
- 2 T. olive oil
- 1 package boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 lbs.)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
- grated parmesan cheese, as garnish (forgot this part, but it'd be yummy!)


1.  Make the sauce.  Combine sauce ingredients in a blender or food processor.  Blend until smooth.  Add pasta water as necessary to achieve desired consistency.  (Can wait to add at the end when making the pasta... I added a small amount here since I was making pasta for Annalyn.) Set aside or store in air tight container in the fridge until ready to use.

only need about 1/2 a lemon's worth of juice

before pasta water

after pasta water - see how it's creamier?

and just like that, most of the work is done
and tomorrow's dinner is already started!

2.  When ready to serve, slice the chicken breasts into roughly bite-sized pieces.  Heat remaining 2 T. olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add chicken to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and cook until slightly browned and cooked through, about 10-12 minutes.

3.  Meanwhile, boil water in a large pot, add pasta and cook according to package directions.  Drain pasta and return to pot.

4.  Add sauce and diced tomatoes to the pasta and toss to combine.  Add additional pasta water as needed to thin the sauce.  Then add the chicken and give it a quick stir.  Top with parmesan cheese and serve with a nice salad.

yep, they are pretty much always this adorable

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