I saw this recipe recently over on Julie's blog. If you haven't checked her out yet you really need to. My blog totally has a crush on her blog. She is a wonderful cook and an excellent hostess. I love going over to her house, I always know I'll get some tasty food, tons of laughs, and I'll get to stare at her pretty serving dishes. (I'm so jealous of those!)
I knew I had to make this for two reasons...
1) It just sounded good
2) It would give me a chance to hang out with my new friend, Frannie Food Processor.
The dish was very good. It had a wonderful flavor, I loved the pesto. It just a little dry for my taste. When I eat pasta it has to be coated in a ridiculous amount of sauce. (So healthy, I know) Now, the reason this could have been a little dry is because I couldn't find sun dried tomatoes in a jar at the grocery store. How annoying! We shopped at the Walmart Market to save a few $$ and the only sun dried tomatoes I could find were just in a package "ready to eat", no oil or anything with it.
While I was making the pesto, I did add some oil, but I guess just not enough. Since this is originally a CL recipe though, the pasta probably isn't supposed to be drenched in anything. If I make this again, I can just add less pasta. Matt loved this. He loved it so much he had it again for dinner or lunch the next 4 days. One night was plenty for me.
Sun Dried Tomato Pesto & Chicken Pasta
Found On: Julie's Foodie
Originally from: CL
(no pictures, it just wasn't very pretty)
1 (7-ounce) jar oil-packed sun-dried tomato halves
1 1/2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 (6-ounce) bag prewashed baby spinach
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated fat-free milk
1 (3-ounce) package goat cheese, crumbled (I used mozzarella, I had it on hand)
6 cups hot cooked cavatappi (about 4 cups uncooked pasta) (I used rotini, I had it on hand)
To prepare pesto, drain sun-dried tomatoes in a sieve over a bowl, reserving oil. Place 2 tablespoons reserved oil in a food processor. Place remaining oil in sun-dried tomato jar; reserve for another use. Coarsely chop 1/4 cup drained tomatoes; set aside. Place remaining drained tomatoes in food processor. Add basil, water, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 2 garlic cloves to food processor; process until finely minced.
To prepare pasta, heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken from pan.
Add minced garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Add balsamic vinegar and baby spinach; cook for 2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Stir in pesto and evaporated fat-free milk. Bring to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes.
Add crumbled goat cheese; cook until cheese melts, stirring constantly. Return chicken to pan; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Combine chicken mixture and pasta, tossing well to coat. Sprinkle with reserved 1/4 cup chopped drained tomatoes.