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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Spaghetti with Red Pepper Almond Pesto and Grilled Chicken

As most of you know, I just recently went through a boss change.  I wish I could tell you everything was going superbly, but alas, they are not and unfortunately, I am to blame for most of that.  I can't stop myself.  I can't stop myself from comparing him to my last boss.  It's not fair to him, I know this.  It's not fair to me, I know this.  I feel like a petty little child.  Like a kid who just got introduced to a step parent and immediately dislikes that person for no other reason then it's not their real parent.  He's not my real boss!!  But he is and I need to get over it.  I'm hoping that announcing it out loud to you and everyone else that is reading this, that I will see how ridiculous I am being and I will snap out of this child-like state.  This is not a pretty side of me, I will admit.  I mean, it's not like I'm mean to the guy or anything, but I'm not my helpful outgoing self around him either.  So, my pledge to me today is:  I will NOT compare my new boss to my old boss....not even!'s been said.......on to the better side of me: Food!

I could tell you this was such a wonderful dish...and it was....but I say that about all pasta dishes.  I love them all.  I do not lie when I say I could eat pasta morning, noon, and night, seven days a week.  Red sauce, white sauce, pestos, vinaigrettes.  Top it however you feel fit.  Eat it plain with butter and salt and pepper.  Does not matter to me, I will eat it all day, thank you very much.  So for me to tell you how wonderful this dish was, would sort of be a repeat of the last pasta recipe I shared with you.  What I will tell you is this - Chris normally does not like "nuts" in his food, even crushed, but he did love this pesto.  He claimed that the nuts made the dish, gave it depth and texture - think that sums it up nicely!

Spaghetti with Red Pepper Almond Pesto with Grilled Chicken
Adapted from America's Test Kitchen 30-Minute Suppers
Printable Recipe 
1 large chicken breast, grilled and sliced thin or cut into bite size pieces
1/4 cup almonds
1 garlic clove, skin removed and quartered
1 red bell pepper, roasted, skin, stem and seeds removed
1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh basil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
6 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1 pound spaghetti

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water.

While the pasta cooks, add the almonds and garlic to the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse until roughly chopped.  Add the roasted red pepper and pulse until pepper is roughly chopped.  Add the parmesan cheese, basil, and lemon juice.  Pulse a few times.  Now, with the processor running, slowly add the olive oil until incorporated.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add the chicken and pesto to the drained pasta and toss to combine.  Add reserved pasta water as needed to thin out the sauce.  Season again with salt and pepper and serve warm.  Enjoy!

One Year Ago:  Pasta Carbonara


Big Dude said...

After a week of seafood, I'm ready for a pasta fix myself and this looks very good. Too many important things ride on your relationship with your boss - make it as good as it can be.

Debbie said...

It's hard to get used to someone new. Different personalities, etc. At least you realize what you are doing and can move on from there. I'm like you....I can eat pasta every night too. My son also, but of course, my husband has to be different!!!!

StephenC said...

OMG, Chris and I have something in common. I'm not nuts about nuts in my pasta either. What you've done does sound good though.

Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

This sounds fanfreakingtastic Jenn! YUM! I can't believe you got Chris to eat nuts in his food! GO YOU!!! See if you can get him to eat nuts in pasta you can get along with the new boss :) And if you can't get along, well you know my email address :) I got your back girl!

Design Wine and Dine said...

Hang in there...hopefully it will get better my friend! In the meantime keep making dishes like this will fix anything! Love it!

Cranberry Morning said...

This is exactly what I need for dinner tonight. I ate at a restaurant over the weekend and spent all day yesterday with a migraine. I should know better, and should just wait for Jenn's post. :-)

Hope things get better at work.

Yenta Mary said...

When you convert someone who wouldn't normally like an ingredient, that's the best testimony there is. And, of course, this looks AMAZING!!! What a fabulous lunch it would make right now ... :)

Mary said...

That's a rave review coming from a person who does not care for nuts :-). The pasta looks gorgeous and can't help but be delicious with that combination of ingredients. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary