Because Sherri asked, here is the very very easy pesto recipe I use, courtesy of Canadian Living. It’s time consuming, if (like me) you are harvesting, trimming and washing your own basil, but otherwise? Takes no time at all.
2 c. packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 c. grated Parmesan
1/4 c. pine nuts
1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper
1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
In food processor, finely chop together basil, Parmesan, pine nuts, salt and pepper. With motor running, add oil in thin steady stream. Stir in garlic (I just blend it in using the food processor, myself).
Makes about 3/4 c., which is why I always double it to make a batch to freeze.
We make chicken pesto pasta, which is also really easy:
2-4 chicken breasts, cubed (depending on how much of a meat eater you are, or feel like being)
1/2 cup pesto (again, depending on how pesto-y you like your pasta)
1 450 g. box of pasta with lots of grooves in it — we prefer fusilli/curly pastas but any textured pasta would do…
1 small jar of oil-packed chopped sun dried tomatoes, drained (but reserve a little of the oil for cooking)
1 c. frozen peas, cooked (I usually put them in the microwave for a couple minutes)
lots of Parmesan to sprinkle on top
Put the pasta on to boil.
While the pasta is cooking, put the reserved sun-dried tomato oil, tomatoes, and chicken in a large skillet to cook. Cook chicken until no longer pink.
Drain pasta, and add pasta, peas and pesto to the chicken mixture in the warm skillet and stir until pesto is blended through and everything is warm.
Serve sprinkled generously with Parmesan. I mean, it’s pesto, after all — so why not?
It makes a seriously large pot of pasta, so there’s lots for a big dinner for 4 at least. There’s just the 2 of us, so we have a big feed and have tons left over which we freeze for lunches.