Monday, April 18, 2011

Conchigliette with Chicken and Arugula Pesto

One of my favorite "ah ha!" moments in the kitchen is when you conquer something new. This seems to be happening a lot lately as I branch out into new directions. Things that I had never really dealt with (recipes, ingredients, etc.) have been incorporated into my usual routine.

This meal utilized two, yes TWO, new things. 

1) Pesto. Ok, I have been making pesto for a little while now, but it used to be something completely foreign to me. My mom never cooked it growing up, and for a while thought I didn't like it. How silly. Not like pesto? Craziness! Last summer I tried a recipe for Simple Pesto from the back of a Whole Foods coupon book and have been loving it ever since. 

2) Arugula. It was red leaf, romaine, and spinach for most of my life. Arugula was "fancy" and not something I thought too much about. Until recently my only Arugula memory came from a story from a childhood friend that involved her waking herself up in the middle of the night by shouting "ARUGULA." I'm not sure I even knew what it was back then.

Anyway, I digress. Both of these things are awesome, not nearly as intimidating as they could be and oh so tasty. Also, apparently arugula is very easy to grow according to this post by Susan of Farmgirl Fare and In My Kitchen Garden.  PS - Check out her blogs for great recipes and CUTE pictures of her farm animals.

My final words of wisdom for the day - TRY NEW THINGS!!! You will be pleasantly surprised. 

This meal came together in about 30 minutes. While the pasta was boiling and the chicken cooking, I made the pesto. The pesto recipe is from Simply Recipes. Another great blog.

Oh, and in case you were wondering conchigliette is just a nice little shell pasta, any small pasta will do. 

Conchigliette with Chicken and Arugula Pesto
serves 4

1 lb chicken breast
1/2 lb pasta
3 tbs arugula pesto (I used this recipe and froze the extra)
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Prepare pasta according to directions. 

Salt and pepper chicken breast and saute in olive oil in a deep frying or saute pan. About 5 minutes per side on medium-high heat. Remove chicken from heat and slice into bite size pieces. 

Prepare pesto according to directions. 

Drain pasta and put into the pan you used for the chicken. Add pesto and chicken and mix well. Heat for a few minutes and serve.

Couldn't resist adding a picture of my little babies!
Also - check out Three Cookies for this week's Presto Pasta Nights round up. 


Jenn @leftoverqueen said...

I love making arugula pesto - had so much arugula in our garden last year, it was an easy way to use it up and then freeze it!

The Food Hunter said...

"try new things" great words of wisdom

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