Chicken Pesto Papardelle
Noodles, what’s not to love? Top them with grilled chicken marinated in home made pesto, and a pesto-butter sauce. How could life get better? Or easier? I love pappardelle, the wide ribbon pasta; it goes very well with any rich and well flavoured sauce like this or a deep warm ragu. I can’t forget the most wonderful wild boar ragu with pappardelle we had on a freezing May evening in a hillside town in Tuscany many years ago. The ribbons of pappardelle just held the strong meaty sauce as the mouthfuls slithered down our throats. I’ll have to research a real Italian ragu for the blog, but in the meantime, try this summer-time delight. I tried both grilling and griddling the chicken strips, but the oily marinade made them stick horribly to the griddle and frying gave a much better result as that also contributes to deepening the flavour of the sauce with all the nice juices that come off the chicken.
I’ll give the recipe for home made pesto shortly, but you can also buy very good Pesto Genoese – the one made with fresh basil, which is best for matching to the chicken, rather than the kale and walnut based pestos.
Serves 4 Timings: Pesto takes about 20 minutes to make, then 4 hours to marinade the chicken. Final dish takes 30 minutes to put together.
Put a pan of water on to boil for your pasta and heat up a large deep frying pan.
Fry the chicken strips in a splash of oil as your pappardelle boils for its recommended time. Fry the chicken until nicely browned and cooked quite through, keep turning it to brown on all sides. It only takes a few minutes.
Add the butter to the pan, allow it to melt and then add in the additional spoon of pesto.
Turn the contents of the pan to mix well and add the squeeze of lemon juice and a grinding of black pepper.
Drain your pasta when cooked as you like it (I prefer a touch beyond al dente) and keep a cup of the cooking water. Loosen the sauce in the frying pan with some of the pasta water and add the pasta into the pan. Mix well, scooping up all the pan juices into the noodles.
Serve with some torn basil leaves and a sprinkle of grated parmesan. Dive in!
A Hug from the Kitchen
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