Linguini with Chicken and Homemade Pesto Cream

Pesto is a great way to use up lots fresh basil, whether it’s from your herb garden or store bought.  It’s really simple to make and store, add it to pasta like we did and it’s a meal.  You can also use your pesto on a breakfast sandwich in the morning… in a potato salad or any salad… We made this in 30 minutes flat, just start your water boiling for the pasta, then prep your chicken, next make the basil pesto recipe and then you can cook the pasta while the chicken cooks and the rest is combining it together- please enjoy and let us know what you think!

Homemade Basil Pesto:

2 cups packed fresh basil leaves, (2-3 bunches)
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano cheese
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons water
1 large clove garlic, quartered
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Place basil, pine nuts, Parmigiano, oil, water, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor; pulse a few times, then process until fairly smooth, or to the desired consistency, scraping down the sides occasionally.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve 1/4 cup cooking water. Drain pasta and return to pot.

12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound whole wheat linguine
1/2 cup Basil Pesto
1/4 cup half and half
Place chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap.With a meat mallet or heavy skillet, pound chicken to an even 3/4-inch thickness. Season with salt and pepper.
Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet; cook the chicken until golden brown and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Tent the chicken while you finish the meal and then slice each piece across the grain into 4 or 5 strips before serving.
In a small saucepan, heat pesto over low until loose. Stir in cream; heat until warm.Toss pasta with reserved cooking water and half the sauce. Divide among shallow bowls; top with chicken. Drizzle with remaining sauce.