Because we went to Cena ( http://www.cenarestaurant.com/) for tapas (make sure to check out the tapas menu) and drinks last night we decided to have a date night in tonight! Plus, today is our 6 year dating anniversary so we are kind of celebrating!!
On the menu is Chicken Pesto Pasta (with homemade pesto sauce) and yummy bread!! I use the recipe for pesto from The Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook as a base but I do not follow the recipe exactly.
In fact, I hardly ever follow a recipe exactly (unless I am baking and exact measurements are a must). Whenever possible I use healthier ingredients or omit the stuff I/we do not like - like mushrooms!
For my pesto sauce I use the following ingredients:
- about 2 cups of basil leaves
- about 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves of chopped fresh garlic (we are HUGE garlic lovers) WARNING - this amount of garlic is for garlic lovers only!! If you are not a huge garlic fan than I would suggest using only 1 clove
- a big handful of Parmesan cheese
I put all of the ingredients except the evoo in the food processor. I put the food processor on pulse and stream in the evoo from the top. You might need to stop once or twice and use a spatula and scrape down the sides of the food processor.
I use two chicken breasts (trimmed and ready) or four chicken breast tenderloins. I marinate them with a tiny bit of extra virgin olive oil, a little bit of salt and lots of pepper. Then my husband cooks them on the grill until they are a wonderful golden brown. Then I cut it into bit sized pieces.
My husband prefers penne pasta because it is easier to "stab" with a fork but I prefer long noodles such as spaghetti or fettucine noodles. Tonight we used spaghetti noodles for the pasta. Cook the pasta according to the directions and set aside. I add salt to my water before it boils. Rachael Rays says to do it and therefore I do it. Her thought is that this is the only chance you get to season your pasta and that makes enough sense to me to do it!
Then I combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and toss. I usually add a little extra Parmesan cheese to the top! Add a piece of crusty bread for the side and this meal is a winner!
While cooking and eating my meal I indulged in the following:
It was a great meal and a wonderful way to celebrate our 6 year dating anniversary!!!!