Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mini Penne with Pesto Chicken, Broccoli and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

I know, I know. Another pasta recipe, but it's what I love. When working with pasta you can really unleash your creative side. I think I've thrown just about everything into a pasta dish. We're talking tomato sauce, pesto, chick peas, goat cheese, feta cheese, pretty much every vegetable out there and the list goes on. Hubby loves any type of pasta that has chicken and some flavor. So I try to vary the types of dishes that I make.

I decided to concoct this recipe when my mother brought over a bunch of basil that was on sale for $.99! So cheap, and in mid October! I, of course, immediately made pesto out of the recipe and decided to marinade the chicken in the pesto and and whip it up into a pasta dish.

The dish was a success, but I had no qualms that it wouldn't be. Not only did Hubby actually lament how good it was, but Bambino ate a hearty helping and was ready to eat it as leftovers the next day! I made a vegetarian version for myself where I sauteed garlic, broccoli and sun dried tomatoes, then added in the pasta and 2 tablespoons of pesto in the end.

I know, there is a mixture of mini penne and fusili becasue I didn't have enough of either for my vegetarian version.

No link to an original because I created this myself.

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts chopped 
3 tablespoons pesto (homemade or store bought, your choice)
1 cup dried mini penne
1 head of broccoli, chopped
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes in oil, chopped (reserve oil!)
salt and pepper

1. Mix chicken with pesto and marinade over night.

2. Boil pasta according to package. Drain and set to side.

3. While pasta is cooking. Spray a skillet with cooking spray and add chicken. (You don't need to add any oil to the pan because there is plenty of oil in the pesto) Saute until browned on all sides, 5-6 minutes.

4. Add in broccoli and sun dried tomatoes. Pour in oil from sun dried tomato jar, about a tablespoon or so. 
Continue cooking until broccoli is tender.

5. Add in pasta and mix well to coat pasta the sauce. Cool and serve!

Amateur Cooking Difficulty Scale: 3 
This is another easy one that I came up with. Because you are using pesto, you don't have to worry about oil, garlic, cheese or herbs, it's already in there!  

This is the first time I made it and I definitely will make it again. So sad that basil isn't in season, but if I find some on sale again, I'll definitely be making this dish again. (I prefer homemade pesto, I haven't had good experiences with the store bought kind.) I'm looking forward to next spring when I (or the lawn guy) plants an herb garden. At least that's the plan for now...


  1. Completely agree with you about the creating one's own pasta version. This looks like a tasty and healthy recipe. You now have a new follower on your blog! Check out mine :)

  2. You have chosen fantastic combination to make this pasta:)