PESTO CHICKEN FLORENTINE
Pesto Chicken Florentine
- 1 (8 ounce) package dry campanelle or penne pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into strips
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, each cut in half
- 2 cups alfredo sauce (homemade or jarred)
- 2 tablespoons pesto
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain and transfer pasta back to the pot and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic, saute for 1 minute; then add chicken, season to taste and cook for 7 to 8 minutes on each side. When chicken is close to being cooked through (no longer pink inside), add spinach and grape tomatoes and saute all together for 3 to 4 minutes.
Add chicken/spinach/tomato mixture to pasta, then stir in pesto and Alfredo sauce. Mix well, top with cheese and serve.
Pasta dishes like this is quick to make, making it a perfect meal for weeknights yet elegant enough to serve to guests on weekend dinner parties. It couldn't be easier to put together either. Chicken is seasoned and sautéed with fresh baby spinach and split grape tomatoes before tossing with al dente pasta. To bind it all together and give it a nice punch of flavor, a mixture of alfredo and pesto sauces is used. You can use either homemade or store bought alfredo sauce and/or pesto sauce.... although homemade is always better if possible. I've found this dish tastes even better the next day as leftovers since flavors had a chance to really develop. So given that, you can certainly make this a day ahead!