Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Creamy Pesto Pasta.

A few weeks ago we were doing what Drew and I call a "pantry purge," which is basically code for: find what you can and make a meal out of it.

I found a can of old, almost expired pesto sauce and figured I'd try to whip something together. I combined the sauce with some drained canned diced tomatoes, a little bit of heavy whipping cream (which, if we're honest, makes everything taste better), some parmesan cheese and some thin spaghetti noodles. BOOM. Instant meal. Drew and I sunk our teeth into the dish (the food, that is, not an actual plate, which I can only imagine is hardly palatable), that night and both realized that what was supposed to be something totally random ended up being a meal that we could eat any night of the week. SO SO good. But there was one problem....

My problem came in that I really didn't want to be adding whipping cream to our diets right now, seeing how we're doing Jillian Michael's Ripped in 30, so I'm trying to keep our meals as healthy as possible. I tweaked around a few things in the meal, added some chicken and pine nuts, and this recipe was born.
Creamy Pesto Pasta
1 box (13.25oz) whole wheat thin spaghetti pasta
2-3 large chicken breast
2-3T extra virgin olive oil
1 jar (6.25oz) pesto sauce
1 28oz can petite diced tomatoes
1 cup parmesan cheese (in the shelf stable shaker can, not freshly grated)
1/2 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
6T water
1/2t salt
3/4t coarsely ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup pine nuts

Cut the chicken breast into small, 1/2 inch pieces. In a large skillet, combine the chicken and olive oil, gently tossing until well coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, add minced garlic and cook over medium high heat until chicken is cooked. Set aside.

In a large stock pot, cook pasta as directed on box. While the pasta is cooking, drain and rinse the canned tomatoes in a colander, and let sit so that all liquids drain completely. In a separate bowl, combine the greek yogurt and water, stirring gently with a whisk or fork until smooth. Once the pasta is cooked, drain the water and then return the pasta to the stock pot. Add all remaining ingredients, stirring well so that everything mixes together evenly. Simmer on low for several minutes, or until the finished dish is heated completely. Serve immediately.

I served this with steamed broccolli coated in olive oil, garlic powder and onion powder (and salt and pepper, of course!). Complete meal, and there was not one bad word about food at the table from the resident preschoolers, meaning that this is a true family favorite ;) Enjoy!

This post is linked up on the Wednesday Link Up at Milk and Cuddles, Create It Thursday at Lamberts Lately, Inspire Me Wednesday at Mama Buzz,


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