First off....anyone here watch American Idol? If not...skip to the next paragraph, if so... WTF??? What is wrong with America? They vote big Mike off? For real? He's got such an amazingly strong voice. Chris even picked him to be number 2!!!! Ok, ok, the judges did vote to save him and keep him another week...but it makes me wonder about the state of this country...when (sorry if this offends anyone, but it's got to be said) TIM gets more votes then Mike?? AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!
Now... let's talk food: What do you do with leftover pesto...if there is any? Well, there are so many delicious ideas, like putting it on pizza, pasta, bruschetta, potatoes.....you can even freeze it. This is a good thing if you have a lot of basil you are trying to find a use for. Make the pesto and then pour it into ice cube trays and freeze them. Once they are frozen you can take them out of the ice cube trays and put the cubes in a Ziploc bag. It should keep up to 3-6 months. Today, though, we're focusing on turning it into a creamy pesto sauce for pasta. I'm a pasta girl, so my first choice for leftover pesto, is always pasta :) It's the Italian in me, what can I say?
One thing I found out about pesto...the more it heats up, the darker it gets. Fresh pesto has this great bright green color to it. What I found out when I made the pesto topped fish the other night is that as it baked, the pesto became a dark green color. It wasn't as if it tasted bad, but the look of it was not that appealing to the eye. I feel a bit like a dork, because I knew this would happen...deep in my brain, I knew it...but still insisted on trying out the idea I had. I'm telling you this because, A. it's just a good cooking tip, and, B. so that you make sure you add the pesto in this sauce at the last moment. My goal here is to make sure you don't make the same mistakes I do.
Anyway.. this recipe was fantastic, if I do say so myself :) If you are looking for a way to get rid of some leftover pesto, this is the recipe for you. It's quick, simple, and tasty!
Chicken & Pasta with Creamy Pesto Sauce
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1/2 cup half & half
1/4 cup pesto (homemade or store bought)
2 oz. cream cheese
1/2 lb. Angel hair pasta (or dry pasta of your choice)
Sprinkle both sides each piece of chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Grill or pan sear chicken until cooked through. Set aside to cool a bit. When cooled cut into strips or chunks.
Cook pasta according to package directions, drain.
Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, heat the half and half and cream cheese until cheese is melted and the half and half is just heated through. Remove from heat and stir in pesto. Serve over chicken and pasta. Enjoy!