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Fresh Pesto Pasta

My friend's mom is THE hostess with the mostess and on top of it all she can cook a stellar meal (ready for your book to be released whenever you're ready, Kath;). We went to visit her in Chicago a handful of years ago and she made this fresh pesto pasta for us. Still one of my favorite meals to date. The dish is simple, fresh and has now become a staple in our house.

It's a great way to use the fresh basil that's overgrowing in your herb garden.

Fresh Pesto Pasta


Pesto – makes 2 ½ cups

3T. pine nuts

2c. basil

1 clove garlic

Pinch of salt

1/2c. grated parm/Reggiano

3T. grated pecorino

1 ½ c. EVOO

Blend pine nuts, basil, garlic and salt to paste. Add cheese and drizzle in EVOO. You won't use all of the pesto for the pasta alone so make sure you either use it up within a week or two or freeze to use at a later time. Pro tip: pour the pesto into an ice cube tray to freeze individual portions.


1lb chicken breast

1 small bottle of Italian dressing

1lb penne noodles

1-2 sweet peppers, chopped

1/2 red onion, chopped

A handful of asparagus or any other veggies you need to use up in the fridge

Trim the chicken, place in a Ziploc bag with the Italian dressing and marinade in the fridge for 3-24 hours.

Get a pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add kosher salt and noodles and cook. Drizzle the chopped veggies with EVOO, kosher salt and pepper. Grill for ~10 minutes, stirring them once halfway through. Grill chicken breast for ~10 minutes, flipping halfway through. When the chicken is done either shred or slice depending on your preference. 

Throw everything in a big bowl with the pesto, stir to coat, serve and enjoy! 


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