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12 September, 2018

Pesto Chicken and Zucchini Pasta

Posted in : 21, alcohol, booze, cheap, cheese, chicken, dinner, easy, food, foodie, healthy, Italian, noodles, one pan, pasta, recipe, sauce, scratch, summer, vegan, vegetables, vegetarian, wine on by : Jeanette Rueb Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Don’t let the ingredient list fool you, this recipe is super easy, super healthy, and super filling. It can also easily be converted into a vegetarian recipe by swapping out the chicken for some extra firm or firm tofu. Make it vegan with a cheese substitute. When we make this recipe (as I try to do with all of my recipes), we’re going to work from the top of the ingredient list on down. Usually, for multi-part recipes like this one, I would divide it up into sections in the ingredient list, but I didn’t know how best to separate it out, so we’re going to just go down the list.

Logistics aside now, this recipe is AMAZING. Hubby didn’t expect to like the zucchini noodles, but he said he would definitely have them again. Normally, I’m a huge fan of pasta, but I recently remembered that spiralizers were an invention that existed, and, being blessed with many a gift card to Bed, Bath & Beyond, I decided to buy myself one. Frankly, it’s already been worth it. Pan-fried, these “zoodles,” as I refuse to call them beyond this brief mention, take on a slightly-crunchier-than-al-dente texture and take on the flavor of whatever sauce coats them. It’s a fantastic option for those with a gluten sensitivity, someone looking to cut carbs/calories, or anyone just looking for a (healthier) change of pace. If you have little ones, this isn’t a bad option for sneaking in some extra veggies, either.

Ingredients
2 tbsp Olive oil
1 tsp Garlic, minced
2 lbs Chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 tsp Pepper
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 cup Dry vermouth
2 cups Basil, packed
1/2 cup Italian parsley, packed
1/2 cup Pine nuts
1 tbsp Garlic, minced
1/2 cup Romano/Parmesan, shredded
1/4 cup Olive oil
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
4 medium Zucchinis
1/4 cup Sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

Heat a large skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Drizzle 2 tbsp of olive oil and 1 tsp of garlic, followed by your chicken breast pieces. Salt and pepper the chicken, stir it around, and cover it to cook, stirring occasionally to make sure it’s cooking evenly. Meanwhile, make the pesto.

In a food processor, you’re going to toss your basil, parsley, pine nuts, 1 tbsp garlic, cheese, salt, and pepper. Chop it until it starts sticking to the sides of the food processor. Scrape it down and gradually add in your olive oil until the pesto is smooth. You might have to add more or a bit less depending on your particular ingredients, so add the olive oil in gradually. Add more salt or pepper to taste.

Back to the chicken. Once it’s cooked, drain out the water and put the chicken back over high heat. Once the pan is hot, add in a bit more garlic (if you like — I added about another teaspoon, but I’m a garlic fiend) and your vermouth. Stir and then cover the pan and let it sit for about a minute before reducing the heat back to medium. Let the chicken sit in the vermouth (and maybe garlic) while you spiralize your zucchini. Once it’s spiralized, drain your chicken one more time if you need to, then add in your pesto, zucchini noodles, and tomatoes. Using your stirring utensil, break up the noodles just a little bit. Stir everything and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Salt and pepper one last time if need be, serve, and (if you’re of age) pair with a sauvignon blanc. 🙂

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