Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Pesto Pasta Dish & Citrus Decor

I've made a return home after being away in Colorado for almost 2 weeks. Sometimes being home feels good, even though you miss where you were and who you were with. So I've been busy planning what to cook this week for dinner. Sunday I made this lovely Pesto Pasta with Chicken dish. However Monday and Tuesday were a no go since I worked evenings and I wasn't up for cooking dinner at 10:30pm. This dish was pretty easy and I just made it up on the go. I was in the mood for pasta, had some chicken and remembered I had a dry pesto mix in the cupboard to use. I love it when it's that easy!

Pasta of choice (I used Cavatappi)
Dry pesto mix (usually in the store in the spice asile)
for the pesto mix you'll need: milk & olive oil (amounts listed on the packet)
Chicken (I had about 2 small chicken breasts)
about 1/3 cup lemon juice
1-2 garlic cloves, smashed & chopped
seasoning for chicken if you want

I started by cooking the pasta and in another pan cooking the pesto sauce. The pesto was super easy to make. Then as the pasta was done, I added the pesto to the pasta and let it sit for a few minutes. In a skillet pan I put about a tablespoon of olive oil and 2 garlic cloves and turned the heat on medium. I sliced the chicken into bite size chunks and just used salt and pepper to season. I kept it pretty simple knowing it was going into a pesto dish. So the chicken cooked for about 5-10 minutes until it turned white and was almost cooked all the way through. I added the lemon juice now just so the chicken could simmer it in a few more minute, about 5, to get the flavor. Then I added the chicken to the pasta and wa-la!

Now here you can dish up your plate and dig in. I decided to try to bake it. Something about baked pasta sounds fancy, maybe?! So I put the dish in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes just to get a crispy topping. I thought it would be good to add some parmsian cheese. Yumm! It was a good idea.

All in all, this was an easy dish with ingredients I had on hand. Of course you can make your own pesto or use a different sauce. It was light and creamy. It doesn't look like much chicken, add more if you like, I didn't have much.

Oh yes, and now the citrus decor. Josh had a great idea to use up our excess Lemons and Oranges. He works in landscape and had come across a lot of lemons. We weren't going to be able to use them all before they went bad. Josh is a genius! He took a string of heavy duty string and threaded it between the sliced lemons and limes. This is so pretty and smelled awesome! The smell has kind of gone away as they dried out, but it is SO PRETTY! And such a festive decor for spring. Very cost effective decor I might add!

1 comment:

Merut said...

Sounds delicious and easy. Lately I've been loving baked pasta. It's bizarre to me that I went so long without trying it.

The oranges and lemons are cute and I bet your house smelled delightful. Very organic.