12 January 2009

Basil Cream Sauce Pasta with Chicken

Basil Cream Sauce Pasta with Chicken


When visiting the market the other day I found myself the lucky recipient of a huge bag of basil . Outside of the summer months this is a very rare occurrence so I decided to go with the big tastes of summer and make a basil pesto. You can prepare your own pesto as I did or use frozen or jarred pesto for that blast of summer.

I had come across this recipe from a cookbook I won (I will be mentioning this later in the week) and decided that with a few twists it would work perfectly for Presto Pasta Nights . Ruth at Once Upon a Feast has been organizing Presto Pasta nights every Friday for over 2 years now. I rarely prepare pasta these days, even though I love it unconditionally. Ivy of Kopiaste is hosting this week. Therefore, I wanted to make something special!!!



**Basil Cream Sauce with Chicken and Pasta**
adapted from a recipe from Rachel Ray

1 lb spaghettini
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 - 3/4 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup chicken stock
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound cooked chicken breast, julienned
1/4 pound sliced prosciutto, julienned (optional)
1 cup frozen tiny green peas (I used asparagus)2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 cup basil pesto (I used the recipe below)A handful of fresh mint leaves, chopped
A handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
A handful of fresh basil, chopped

Bring a big pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Salt the water, add the spaghettini, and cook to al dente.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Make a roux, whisking together the melted butter and flour for 1 minute, then add the wine and cook down for 1 minute. Add the stock and season with salt and pepper. Cook for another couple of minutes to thicken. Stir the chicken and prosciutto into the wine sauce. Add the peas and lemon zest, combine, then add pesto to taste. Heat through.

To serve, toss the sauce with the drained spaghetti. Garnish with the chopped herbs.

Serves 4

**Val's Pesto**

125 mL (1/2 cup)each packed fresh basil leaves
½ cup packed parsley
2 - 4 whole peeled garlic cloves
30 mL (2 tablespoons) pine nuts
60 mL (1/4 cup)sun-dried tomatoes, drained and ¼ cup julienned
coarse black pepper to taste
3 mL (1/2 teaspoon) salt
60 mL (1/4 cup) extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional but droolworthy)

Combine all remaining ingredients except Parmesan in food processor or whiz with immersion blender and process until well combined. Recipe makes about 10 tbsp (150 mL) of pesto. Use desired amount to toss with the pasta in this recipe. Cover and refrigerate the remainder for up to 3 days for another use.

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison.
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34 comments:

  1. Val, thank heaven's for Canadian hothouses which give us produce and herbs for most of the year.

    This dish is right up my alley...I could use a summer-time dish like this...NOW!

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  2. spaghettini are my husband's favorite pasta - i love very simple pasta dishes where the main ingredient that gives taste to the meal is olive oil and good parmesan - droolworthy indeed

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  3. I love anything with basil and parmesan cheese... That dish looks very appetizing!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  4. I still have basil in my pots and can use some for a few more times until it wilts. The pasta dish sounds amazing. I could eat pasta every day.

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  5. Love what you did with this pasta! I posted one for PPN tonight too! I guess Great minds think alike hey!! :)

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  6. I do love pasta and yours looks like it has loads of flavour!

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  7. Growing up it seemed that basil was only available in the summer months and I couldn't wait for the pesto to happen. Pesto always tastes like summer to me, even though I can get basil year round now.

    I like your other sauce too. Thanks for subbing the peas with asapragus. ;-)

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  8. Looks delicious Val! That is a great photo!

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  9. This is so simple but delicious. I love how it's creamy without cream.
    (PS - I have been having issues loading your page lately and it's crashing my browser. Doh! So I have been following you in my reader but having a hard time commenting!)

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  10. I don't love Rachel Ray, but I have a version of this recipe I love.

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  11. i don't think i've ever had basil in a pasta when tomato wasn't involved. wait, except for pesto. never mind.
    regardless, this is a fantastic creation. :)

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  12. Pasta nights are my favorite! You can't go wrong with basil either. It is the perfect herb!

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  13. Your pesto sounds lovely with sun-dried tomatoes! Yum.

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  14. That dish looks really great Val. Love the Basil Cream Sauce.

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  15. You were a lucky girl to come off with that summer basil in winter! I so miss my basil growing like a weed in the back yard.

    With great basil, mint and parsley this sounds divine and then you've added asparagus that was inspired. Excellent dish.

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  16. Tasty and Healthy,Thats all i can say :-)

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  17. What a lovely, 'honest' pasta dish. We seem a long way off eating basil here at the moment - something I associate much more with summer - but I'll remember it when the time comes!

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  18. I love pesto with anything, but added to cream is definitely my favorite. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Night.

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  19. I would say this is pretty special. I love that you found a bunch of basil in January. What a great way to brighten the day.

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  20. Congratulations on winning the cookbook! I can't wait to read all about it. And that pasta dish looks perfect for winter... not too heavy, but rich enough to be comforting... mm!

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  21. I love to cook with basil all year round - it really does add a taste of sunshine on a cold day! In fact I just picked some up today - I couldn't walk past the stand as the smell was so good.
    What a tasty looking dish - lovely.

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  22. I have heaps of basil in my garden right now and this will be just perfect, thanks for sharing my friend!!

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  23. These are the months when I'm jonesing for basil and this sounds like a delicious pasta!

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  24. This looks so good Val, I 'm gonna pretend that's my plate and fork!

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  25. Lucky you to score all that pesto. And what a perfect use.

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  26. I sooooo miss fresh herbs this time of year. I'm bookmarking this for fresh basil season too! Looks fantastic!

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  27. Delicious! This sounds so summery and fresh. I can't get enough of fresh basil.

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  28. Oh, I love basil too, Valli...it makes such a nice addition to so many types of food. I've added it to the last couple of pots of soup I've made, both very different, and yet it added a certain something to both of them.

    And I love that you have included sun dried tomatoes in your pesto. :-)

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  29. I would die for a big bag of basil right now!! Delicious!

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  30. Your pesto sounds so good Val! YUUUUMMMMMM!

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  31. Dear Val one of the more things I love from the Summer is the BASIL, I love how spell!! Isnice!!!! love this recipe, Gloria

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  32. Another nice recipe from RR. I like her quick & tasty recipes.

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  33. Mmmm, basil. One of my all-time favourite herbs! This looks just heavenly - thanks for sharing :)

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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