Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Grilled Chicken and Pesto Farfalle

This past Saturday I went home for to spend the day/ night with my parents (and get my laundry done, and order the new iPhone under my mother's observation). It was a perfect morning for a drive home and even more perfect 80 degree and sunny afternoon for pumpkin picking at Powers Farm Market and wandering the streets of the village at the Scarecrow Festival.

And of course, what trip home is complete without a home cooked meal? We had Rachael Ray's Basic Risotto which we always add shrimp and scallops. Possibly my favorite meal of all time. I remember growing up having risotto with mushrooms at my grandma's house and smoothing the mound of yellow rice perfectly around the plate into a flat surface and cutting out squares at a time until it was all gone. Making risotto is a group effort at home, it takes myself, daddy and momma to make. My dad and I handle the risotto and momma bear prepares the seafood. Served with Garlic Tuscan bread and you've got yourself one of the tastiest meals you can dream of, in 30 minutes!

Every time I go home I make sure I stop at my next door neighbors for a visit because I just adore them. And love sharing all my crazy college stories with Mr. and Mrs. And seeing my favorite boys. It's too ironic that 7 years ago I was sitting in a desk in Mr.'s classroom being asked 7th grade Social Studies questions and now I sit at his kitchen table being asked what my drink of choice is when I'm out. While we were talking, Mrs. was telling me she didn't understand how I planned our meals out and knew what to cook, it's not my job I'm not married with kids yet! Thing is, I love figuring out just what we're going to have and searching the Internet or cooking magazines for what we're going to have.

Pasta is definitely a huge hit in our apartment because of the ease and how versatile it is, this is one of our favorites we have. We forget just how good it was until we bit into it for the first time since last semester.

Grilled Chicken and Pesto Farfalle
source: Cooking Light September 2008
serves: 10 (we cut ours in half and had left overs!)

1 3/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 teaspoon salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
Cooking Spray
20 ounces uncooked farfalle (bow ties!)
1 tablespoon butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups milk, divided (we used skim)
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
3.5 oz (about 1/3 cup) pesto (homemade preferably!)
3/4 cup half and half
2 cups shredded fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
4 cups halved grape tomatoes (2 pints)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

1. Prepare grill to medium-high heat.
2. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place chicken on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 10 minutes or until done, turning after 6 minutes. Remove from grill; let stand 5 minutes. Cut chicken into 1/2 inch pieces; keep warm.
3. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain in colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Place pasta in a large bowl.
4. Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic to pan; cook 1 minutes, stirring occasionally. Combine 1/2 cup milk and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add milk mixture to pan, stirring constantly with a whisk. Stir in pesto. Gradually add remaining 1 cup of milk and half-and-half, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook 8 minutes or until sauce thickens. Add 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid, remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1 cup cheese; stir until cheese melts.
5. Add chicken and sauce to pasta, tossing well to coat. Add tomatoes and basil; toss gently. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese. Serve immediately.

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