(Originally posted May 29, 2015)
During the summer, we have this all the time. Although it’s pasta, it’s light & delicious!
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Nature’s Own seasoning, dried oregano and dried basil
kosher salt and fresh pepper
8 oz penne pasta
2 (pint) grape tomatoes, halved
6 cloves garlic, minced
parmesan cheese, grated
extra virgin olive oil
4 TBSP fresh basil, chopped
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Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
Season chicken generously with Nature’s Own seasoning, oregano and basil. Heat a large skillet on high heat. Once heated, drizzle oil in pan and add chicken. Cook about 3-4 minutes, until cooked through. Remove chicken, dice and set aside.
Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Reserve 1/2-1 cup pasta water before draining.
While pasta cooks, add olive oil to skillet on high heat. Add garlic and sauté until golden brown (do not burn). Add tomatoes, salt and pepper, cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Sauté about 4-5 minutes. Use tongs to crush softened tomatoes – this will help create the sauce. When pasta is drained, add pasta to tomatoes and toss well. If pasta seems too dry, add some of the reserved pasta water. Add fresh basil and chicken and toss well. Serve and top with grated cheese.
Not only is this recipe comfort food at its finest, but it also conjures a beautiful memory… bringing home Baby Charlotte. The day after we brought Char home from the hospital, Nonny, Papa, Hannah and Zach came to visit. Now, having had six children herself, Nonny knows the cardinal rule of visiting a newborn baby at home… always bring food for the parents! (Just kidding…kind of.)
In all honesty, when you get older and begin visiting friends or family with a new baby, it’s a thoughtful gesture to bring a little treat. (Homemade cookies or brownies… or delicious Creamy Basil Pesto Pasta!)
Now onto the recipe! This one is deceiving – by taste alone, you would never know how quick and easy it is to prepare. I made it for you guys last night and had it on the table in about 20 minutes – which was perfect because Daddy was starving! Add a pre-made salad and some sliced French bread and you’ve got the perfect meal!
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into cubes
1 can (10 1/2 ounces) Campbell’s® Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup or (10 1/2 ounces) Campbell’s® Condensed 98% Fat Free Cream of Chicken Soup
1/2 cup basil pesto
1/2 cup milk
8 ounces (about 3 cups) farfalle (bow tie) OR penne pasta, cooked and drained
- Season the chicken as desired. Heat the butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until well browned, stirring often.
- Stir the soup, pesto sauce and milk in the skillet and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cook for 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Stir in the farfalle and cook until the mixture is hot and bubbling. Season to taste.
This next recipe comes from The Pioneer Woman blog. I stumbled across her blog in 2008 and have been hooked ever since. She was the first “foodie blog” to take pictures of her recipes as she prepared them. For someone who is new to cooking, it’s the best because she shows you exactly what to do every step of the way.
I have three of her cookbooks and can attest to how outstanding her recipes turn out. This one is perfect for summertime with its grilled chicken and citrus flavor. Yum Yum Yum!!
4 whole Grilled Chicken Breasts, Sliced
1 pound Penne Pasta, Cooked Until Al Dente
1/2 stick Butter
3 whole Lemons, Juiced (6-8 TBSP)
3/4 cups Heavy Cream
1/4 cup Half-and-half
1-1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese (or Romano)
Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
20 whole Basil Leaves, Chopped
Cook pasta in salted water, reserving 1 cup of hot pasta water when you drain. Set pasta aside in a colander.
In the same pot, melt butter over medium heat. Squeeze in the juice of 3 to 4 lemons and add some of your pasta water. Whisk together. Pour in cream and half-and-heat. Whisk until hot. Dump in cheese and whisk until melted. Add salt and pepper. Check consistency, adding some of the hot pasta water to loosen the sauce if needed.
Pour pasta and sauce into a large serving bowl. Sprinkle remaining basil all over the top, then add sliced chicken breasts. Serve immediately!