It’s Spring Break time. My house is full of 8 hungry college students who arrived famished from a road trip. I decided to use the Spinach Basil Pesto http://kolpona.com/2012/03/17/spinach-basil-pesto/ I just put together to come up with a pasta dish. It turned out great if the empty plates were any indication.
Here’s the recipe:
Spinach Chicken Alfredo
16 oz of Fettuccine
3 whole cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
4 tablespoons of Spinach Basil Pesto (see recipe)
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons of flour
1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1 1/2 cups of cooked chicken cut into pieces
large handful of fresh Spinach leaves
1 pint of Heavy Cream
2 cups of whole milk
1 cup of Parmiaggiano Reggiano Cheese
1/2 cup of Mozzarella cheese
In a 5 quart pan boil water with 5- 6 tablespoons of salt (should be like sea water) and cook pasta for about 8 minutes. In the mean time, in a large skillet heat olive oil and butter. Add salt, fresh cracked pepper and minced garlic and sauté about a minute until garlic releases its fragrance. Add spinach pesto and stir for about 30 seconds. Add flour to the mixture and cook for about a minute to get the starchy flour smell out. Slowly begin to add heavy cream and whole milk and stir until mixture begins to thicken. This should take about 3-4 minutes. When mixture has thickened nicely, add parmiaggiano Reggiano and mozzarella and stir until melted and incorporated into a smooth sauce. Add chicken to the mixture. Add in cooked pasta and toss. Serve warm with fresh grated cheese on top.
I was recently at Whole Foods and I couldn’t believe how much they were charging for a 6 oz container of pesto. I am NOT about to pay almost $5 for something that can be made in seconds and taste so much better fresh. I love fresh Spinach and since today also happens to be St. Patrick’s Day I wanted to make my version of fresh pesto. After all its so green!! Spinach and basil makes a great combination. So delicious, so versatile!
Ingredients at a glance
Toast the Pine nuts in a dry skillet
Mix all ingredients in food processor
This is the glamour shot.
I love to store the pesto in individual packages, usually in a 1/2 cup or 1 cup servings along with the date.
Then I put the individual packs inside a bigger ziplock bag and freeze them. They keep for 3-4 months in the freezer and you can just heat it up to use it with pasta, as a pizza sauce, with chicken dishes. The possibilities are endless.
Here’s the recipe:
Spinach Basil Pesto
4 cups tightly packed fresh baby spinach leaves
1 cup of fresh basil
½ cup pine nuts, toasted
5 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
½ cup olive oil
½ cup Parmiaggiano Reggiano cheese
In a dry skillet add the pine nuts and heat over medium high heat until lightly brown and toasted. Should only take about 4-5 minutes. Let cool.
Place all ingredients except for olive oil in a food processor and turn it on, in a slow drizzle begin to add olive oil through the dispenser until mixture is well incorporated. Take out and serve immediately with any type of pasta, with chicken or pizza sauce or can put in individual ziplock bags and freeze for up to 4 months. Cost per 1 cup serving (8 oz) is only 50 cents. A far cry from the price of $5 for 6 oz.