Monday, July 01, 2013

presto, pesto!



Yes! My first ever recipe! Yay for me! If you know me,  you probably know that I am not the greatest cook. It isn't that I don't like cooking, I just get overwhelmed at the organization process that comes along with cooking and the clean up afterwards. Also, it gets expensive buying ingredients when you are only cooking for one...but someone once told me the only way to get better is to keep trying (and clean as you go). I was inspired by the picture on the cover of a recent Bon Appetit magazine of a delicious and fresh looking pesto pasta:

oOoOoooooh...my mouth was watering just glancing at the cover. I figured pesto pasta could be a good one for me to try because pasta reheats well, I'm a pasta girl and it's relatively healthy (hence the green color!). What I really liked was that Bon Appetit's pesto recipe used cilantro (which I LOVE) instead of basil or spinach (which is a little on the bland side for my taste buds) and almonds instead of pine nuts. So, needless to say, I was sold. I ended up tweaking the recipe quite a bit and served it to a group of 15 friends who loved it. One of my pesto pasta tasters, Shana Draugelis, who runs the AMAZING and inspiring blog Ain't No Mom Jeans, suggested I put the recipe on my blog as a place to share it with friends. So here it is...if you try it let me know what you think, if you changed it or tweaked it or send me pics @ sunlightistheirfashionblog@hotmail.com!

Serves 6 
Ingredients: 
-1 lb spaghetti or linguini noodles
-1 lb chicken (chopped into cubes)
-2 cups chopped fresh cilantro
-2 cups chopped fresh flat leaved parsley leaves
-3/4 cup chopped fresh chives
- 3/4 cup unsalted, roasted almonds
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
-1/2 cup finely grated parmesan 
- 1 lemon
- kosher salt
- freshly ground pepper 
- 2 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes (if you like a bit of extra spice!) 
- 4 or 5 large garlic cloves (or less if you don't care for as much garlic) 
- optional and for the daring...sriracha hot sauce goes amazingly on top of the finished product. 

Directions: (This is the way I have gone about doing it that works best for me and is the fastest)

1. Heat a large pot of water until boiling and in a large skillet heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 or 2 chopped garlic cloves on med to high heat. 

2. Once the skillet is heated, add the chopped chicken cubes. While the chicken is cooking, squeeze 1/2 of the lemon over the chicken and add salt and pepper. (I also added 1 tablespoon of crushed red pepper). 

3.  The water should be boiling by now, so add the pasta and boil on med heat for appx. 6-8 minutes. Once cooked, drain the pasta and set to the side. 

4. In a food processor or blender (food processor works much better at blending!) add the cilantro, parsley, chives, almonds, olive oil, 3-4 garlic cloves, the juice from the other half of the lemon and salt and pepper and blend until the pesto consistency somewhat smooth and paste-like. 

5. In a large bowl serving bowl mix the cooked pasta, the chicken and the pesto together. Top with fresh parmesan cheese and a little sriracha for a kick! 

You will most likely have left over pesto sauce which freezes well and goes great on top of toast,with sliced avacado and fried egg (another idea I stole from Shana!) or throw some on a chicken or turkey sandwich. 

Pesto for days and days! I hope you enjoy, let me know what you think if you tried it and any suggestions for improvement! Hope everyone is having a splendid summer! 


2 comments:

Megan said...

Jess, that recipe looks amazing! I'm making a recipe tonight with pesto (I don't think I'll make my own today) butttttt the pesto w/avocado on toast looks delicious and I don't even like avocado! :)

Jess. said...

Thanks Megan! Your amazing blog has inspired me to update mine! Yeah, I wasn't a huge fan of avacado either but this summer I want it on everything!