Thursday, October 16, 2008

Perfect Picnic Pesto Pasta!

~Perfect Picnic Pesto Pasta!~

Tuesday was a wonderful day - one of the last warm, sunny days of fall and Brennan and I were determined to make the most of it. After doing our groceries, I suggested a pesto pasta (one of his favorites) and he suggested a better idea: a pesto pasta picnic in our favorite spot near us. I made this in minutes, packed it up, and we were off on the 4-wheeler for a great dinner and wonderful views. I didn't include a photo of our spot (it is, after all, a secret!), but the dinner, along with a delicious salad, was a photo-op all on its own! The basil pesto base really brings out the flavor of the sun dried tomatoes, while the creamy goats cheese brings the chicken out at its moist, tender best. This is one meal you won't want to wait to make - make it tonight!
This is gluten free, egg free, corn free and soy free. You can make it dairy free by using a cheese substitute, and make it meat free by using firm grilled tofu, or omitting the chicken entirely.
Serves 4 with a side salad and bread (french bread or focaccia is incredible).

Chicken, Sun Dried Tomato and Basil Pesto on Pasta

Gluten Free Fettuccine for 4
2 oz Sun Dried Tomatoes
1 Chicken breast, cubed
1/2 Vegan Bouillon Cube
Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to taste
1 Cup Water
1 tbsp Extra virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp dried basil
1 Recipe "Best Pesto Ever" - See Below

Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the chicken and saute in the oil until cooked. Add the water, bouillon cube, basil and sun dried tomatoes. Bring to a boil and then turn it off and let it sit while you make the pesto. When pesto is ready, drain the chicken/sun dried tomatoes and mix with the pesto. Serve over cooked pasta immediately with a salad and crusty bread. Top pasta with more goats cheese or Parmesan if desired.

Best Pesto Ever!

2 Cups Fresh Basil Leaves
1/3 cup Toasted Pine Nuts (make sure they are still slightly warm)
2 Cloves Garlic
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Pepper
1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup Crumbled Goat Cheese/substitute

In a food processor, whirl the basil, toasted pine nuts, garlic, sea salt and pepper until smooth. Slowly add the oil and blend until combined. Spoon into a bowl and fold in the goat cheese, making sure it melts and combines evenly. Yum!

Hope you love this as much as we do!

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