Creamy Spinach/Basil Pesto Pasta with Raspberry Balsamic Chicken Thighs

June 13, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

 

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Creamy Spinach/Basil Pesto Pasta with Raspberry Balsamic Chicken Thighs

Caprese inspired this entire meal. I wanted to make something using simple summer fresh ingredients used in caprese salad but neither my husband or I have ever been fans of plain old caprese; Basil/Tomato/Mozzarella. So immediately I decided to make pesto pasta made healthier with spinach. Chicken thighs are my go to protein (incase you havent noticed haha) and we only had raspberry balsamic vinegar on hand which turned out to be absolutely perfect! All that was left was to use those gorgeous multi colored cherry tomatoes I always see in the produce aisle but rarely have a chance to use and those cute little mozzarella pearls. This meal turned out to be the perfect new take on a classic dish. I hope you guys try out this recipe and enjoy this dinner as much as we did. Take a quick pick and tag me, I'd love to see your versions! 

 

Creamy Spinach/Basil Pesto Pasta

 

Ingredients

2 cups spinach

4 cups basil leaves

4 cloves garlic

1 cup Pecorino Romano cheese

1/3 olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

3/4 cup pasta cooking water (the secret to creamy pesto pasta)

1lb pasta of choice (farfalle, penne and gemelli are my favorites for pesto)

1/2 stick butter

Fresh Mozzarella pearls for serving

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Bring a large pot of water to the boil

Add pasta and cook for the length of time on the box.

Just before draining, scoop out 1 cup of the pasta cooking water for the pesto. Set aside, allow to cool

Drain pasta in a colander, return to cooking pot, add butter (no heat)

In a food processor combine spinach, basil leaves, garlic, Pecorino Romano cheese, salt and pepper. Drizzle in the olive oil while processing on high speed. Add 2/4 cups of pasta cooking water.

Add pesto to the pasta. Toss to coat pasta in pesto, adding more pasta cooking water if required to make pasta silky and saucy.

Taste, add more salt and pepper if desired.

Garnished with fresh mozzarella pearls.

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Raspberry Balsamic Chicken Thighs

 

Ingredients

8-10 chicken thighs

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

4-5 garlic cloves

1/4 cup raspberry balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons olive oil for cooking

2 tablespoon dried parsley

2 tablespoon dried basil

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 pint multi-color cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered

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Heat olive oil in skillet over mid-high heat.

Combine salt, black pepper, garlic, raspberry balsamic vinegar, olive oil, dried parsley, dried basil and onion powder in a Ziploc bag. Add the chicken and coat each piece evenly with the seasoning. Set aside, allowing the flavors to absorb into the meat.

When skillet is good and hot, place the chicken thighs into the hot skillet in a single layer. Allow the chicken to sear, untouched, for 5-6 minutes until the chicken releases without sticking to the pan. Use tongs to gently lift the chicken thighs and flip over each piece. Transfer cooked chicken thighs to a plate, allow to rest

After cooking all the thighs add sliced tomatoes to the pan and allow to cook 3-4 minutes until soft.

Top chicken thighs with cooked tomatoes and drizzle with raspberry balsamic vinegar

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