Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Farfalle with Chicken in Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Cream Sauce


For Mother's Day this year, one of my gifts from Andrew was a little questionnaire about me that his teacher helped him fill out. It was just about the sweetest thing ever. He was off on my age by one year, but he made up for making me a year older by saying that I smelled like cherries and that I'm the best mom ever because I'm the "best cooker ever." It was so adorable, and pretty much turned me into a pile of mommy goo.

He also said that his favorite thing for me to cook is pasta, and is that ever true. I'm very proud to say that Andrew is a fantastic eater and will chow down on anything I put in front of him, but on the nights we're having pasta? I really don't even need to tell him what kind of pasta it is. Just hearing that we're having pasta is enough to make his eyes light up. That's my boy. 

Pasta is one of my favorite things to cook, too, mainly because it doesn't usually require me to make a trip to the grocery store to purchase any special ingredients. I can make it last-minute, just using what I have on hand in the pantry and fridge. And sometimes, those last-minute, quick pasta dinners result in some of the most delicious meals. 

For this pasta, I used chicken, farfalle, sun-dried tomato pesto, garlic, parmesan, and a bit of cream. Just a handful of ingredients, but they resulted in one decadent pasta dish. Not surprisingly, this dish got a big seal of approval from Andrew -- and from the rest of my pasta-loving family.

Farfalle with Chicken in Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Cream Sauce

12 ounces dried farfalle pasta
1/2 pound chicken tenders, diced
Salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
1/4 cup sun-dried tomato pesto

1. Cook pasta in boiling salted water according to package directions; drain. I always like to return the cooked pasta to the hot pot and add a bit of butter and parmesan cheese to the pasta itself, stirring until melted. This step is optional, of course, but I think it helps the sauce stick to the pasta better (and adds flavor and richness, of course).

2. Meanwhile, season chicken with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Heat the olive oil in a high-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked through. Remove chicken from skillet; set aside and cover with foil to keep warm.

3. In the same skillet, melt the butter. Add the garlic and cook and stir for 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock and, using a wooden spoon, scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the cream, reduce heat to medium-low, and let the sauce gently heat through and thicken. Once sauce has reached desired thickness, stir in the parmesan cheese until melted, then stir in the sun-dried tomato pesto. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.

4. Add the drained pasta and the reserved chicken to the sauce and stir gently to combine. Sprinkle each serving with additional parmesan cheese, if desired.


Melanie @ Just Some Salt and Pepper said...

This sounds delicious! Love sun dried tomato pesto.

Anonymous said...

Have made this dish and it was delicious! Everyone loves it. I did double the chicken though and make it on the weekend to serve during the week keeping the components separate. Its heat combine and serve!