Harvest Bounty Beauty: Chicken Pesto Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes

2 Sep

Bundles of fresh basil, baskets of sun-kissed cherry tomatoes, just picked greens are all available at my local market. Add some leftover Pollo al Mattone (or supermarket rotisserie chicken) and linguine and you have a zippy summer supper.

Sun-kissed cherry tomatoes.

Sun-kissed cherry tomatoes.

Chicken Pesto Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes is the cover recipe of Chatelaine Magazine‘s September 2013 issue (page 79). My photos are far less appealing than the cover model, but I haven’t studied food styling and air-brushing!

Chicken Pesto Pasta with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Chicken Pesto Pasta with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes.

As mentioned in an earlier post, I wanted to use up the last of my 2012 crop of pesto before making this year’s batch. I’ll post the recipe for basil pesto when I get around to making it, but you can easily make this dish using pesto purchased from your grocery.

This pasta offers a meal in a bowl — protein, starch, greens, fat and vegetable — and comes together in about 30 minutes. The original recipe called for arugula which I could not find on its own, so I substituted baby spinach leaves. I expect the peppery taste of the arugula would add an interesting taste to the combination.

Next time, I’ll increase the amount of tomatoes to a pint and a half — I had less than a full pint. The ripe cherry tomatoes become sweet and rich when roasted and I think the flavours would have a better balance with more tomatoes.

Go for maximum colour.

Go for maximum colour.

Likewise, some of the pesto I cleared out of the freezer had lost its punch, so for the second serving of this meal I added another 2 Tablespoons of pesto. It’s good advice to taste a dish before serving and adjust the seasonings as necessary. Too bad I don’t always take good advice.

Shredded chicken, baby spinach, linguine and pesto.

Shredded chicken, baby spinach, linguine and pesto.

CHICKEN PESTO PASTA WITH ROASTED TOMATOES             Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 (+ 1/2) pint                       cherry tomatoes, halved (about 2 cups)
  • 1 tsp                                     extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp                                 salt
  • 225 g                                    linguine, 1/4 of a 900 g package
  • 3/8 cup                                Basil pesto  (approx. 3 “cubes” of homemade pesto, frozen in ice-cube trays, thawed)
  • 1 cup                                    shredded rotisserie chicken, about 1/4 whole
  • 1 cup                                    arugula or baby spinach

Instructions:

1.     Preheat oven to 400 F/200 C. Set a rack to the centre position. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Pint of cherry tomatoes, halved tossed with 1 tsp EVOO, salt and pepper.

Pint of cherry tomatoes, halved and tossed with 1 tsp EVOO, salt and pepper.

2.     Set a medium pot of water on to boil.

3.     Place halved cherry tomatoes on the parchment, sprinkle with salt and drizzle with the EVOO and toss to combine. Season with ground black pepper and spread tomatoes around on the baking sheet.

Roast on parchment paper-lined cookie sheet in 400 F oven for 20 - 25 minutes

Roast on parchment paper-lined cookie sheet in 400 F oven for 20 – 25 minutes

4.      Roast in the centre of a 400 F oven for 20 -25 minutes, shaking or gently stirring halfway. Roast until tomatoes are golden brown and soft.

Sweet, rich roasted cherry tomatoes.

Sweet, rich roasted cherry tomatoes.

5.     Meanwhile, wash and drain the greens (arugula or baby spinach) you’re using. Shred chicken.

6.     When tomatoes have roasted for 10 – 12 minutes, put linguine in the pot of boiling water to cook according the package instructions. This should take about 7 – 8 minutes for al dente. Just before draining the pasta, add the baby spinach, if using, to wilt.

7.     Reserve 1/8 – 1/4 cup of pasta cooking water before draining the linguine and spinach in a colander. Return to pasta pot and stir in the pesto (and extra pasta water if the mixture seems dry). Add the shredded chicken, roasted tomatoes and arugula (if using) and toss before serving.

Chicken Pesto Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes

Chicken Pesto Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes

Enjoy with a glass of lusty, fruity red or an extra-dry, medium-bodied rose and perhaps a chunk of garlic bread on the side. “Cin-cin!”

 

 

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2 Responses to “Harvest Bounty Beauty: Chicken Pesto Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes”

  1. Susan at Savvy Single Suppers September 24, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

    Hey Micah! Thanks for the shout-out! Nice to meet a young man who is willing to cook fresh food and daring enough to be creative with his dishes. Bravo!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Chicken Pesto with Tomatoes | Chef Micah - September 24, 2013

    […] Harvest Bounty Beauty: Chicken Pesto Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes (savvysinglesuppers.wordpress.com) […]

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