I never realized how often I make pasta until I saw the number of pasta recipes in queue for this site. I don’t feel like we eat pasta that much, I don’t even particularly like pasta. It must just be that it’s so easy to just boil some water and throw a sauce together after 8 hours of work, 2 hours of commuting, and an hour of gym time. When all I want to do is just go home and crash, apparently pasta is my go-to dish.
One type of pasta that I started making often just involves sauteing some fresh veggies, adding a bit of butter, a splash of cream, and a bit of garlic then tossing it with the pasta. On the off-chance that I have a bit of pesto lying around – even better. Add a tablespoon or two of pesto and voila – delicious creamy pesto pasta.
This dish has all the nutrition of fresh veggies mixed with the bright flavor of basil pesto, all rounded out with a dash of cream. Just a dash – not so much to make you feel guilty but just enough to turn it saucy. Of course, if you’ve been good all week – add as much cream as you like If you’re the type who feels guilty (like yours truly), just a splash of cream and a bit of starchy pasta water will do.
Creamy Pesto Pasta
[ Printable Recipe ]
- Pasta (enough for 2 -3 people)
- 1/2 – 1 cup chopped, cooked chicken (optional)
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 – 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 – 2 tomatoes, diced
- 2 – 3 Tablespoons pesto (fresh is better, but store-bought will do)
- Splash of heavy cream
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup chicken (or vegetable) stock
- 1 Tablespoon of butter
1. Cook & drain pasta, set aside in a bowl. Reserve a bit of the cooking water.
2. Saute onions in a drizzle of olive oil until translucent, add chicken and heat through. Add tomatoes and garlic, stirring constantly until heated through. (Make sure not to burn your garlic) Transfer to bowl with cooked pasta.
3. Melt butter in pan, stir in pesto, chicken stock, and a splash of heavy cream. Let simmer, stirring, until slightly thickened (a few minutes). Add pasta, chicken (if using), and veggies and toss to coat. If you need more sauce, add some reserved pasta water or cream and continue to toss until sauce completely covers the pasta. Taste and adjust seasoning (lots of cream means you will probably need to add more salt).