This dish of pasta and chicken is another one of those dishes where the food is made fast. It’s easy to put together on a weeknight or anytime you like.

20151011in good tasteI’ve always been an advocate for making certain homemade sauces and condiments, especially when the main ingredients are bountiful. Tomatoes preserved in any form – dried, confit, roasted, sauce (bottled or jarred) – are great for multiple uses. Fresh herb sauces such as basil pesto, can be used as a condiment, dressing or marinade. With preserves and sauces like these, putting together a meal is not only quick, it’s easy, much like today’s dish of pasta with marinara and pan-seared chicken breasts with basil pesto.

 

INGREDIENTS

For chicken:

Pasta with Marinara Sauce & Chicken with Basil Pesto (Photo by Cynthia Nelson)
Pasta with Marinara Sauce & Chicken with Basil Pesto (Photo by Cynthia Nelson)

2 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts

2 teaspoons all-purpose seasoning

Salt and pepper to taste (see note below)

3 tablespoons oil

¼ cup basil pesto

 

For pasta:

1 ½ cups marinara sauce1 pound dried pasta

 

 

DIRECTIONS

For chicken:

Rinse and pat dry the chicken breasts; season with all purpose seasoning and salt and pepper to taste. Let marinate for 10 – 20 minutes at room temperature.

Heat oil in a pan over medium heat until hot but not smoking.

Add chicken breasts and cook for 4 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Remove from pan, cover with foil and let rest until you are ready to assemble and serve with pasta.

 

For pasta:

Bring a large pot of water to boil and season with salt to taste. Add pasta and cook according to package instructions or to suit your preference.

While the pasta is cooking, add the sauce to a pan and place over medium to low heat to heat through.

Drain pasta well reserving a little of the liquid in case you will need it. Add the pasta to the sauce while it is still on the heat. Raise the heat to medium and toss the pasta and sauce together; cook for 2 to 3 minutes so that the pasta can absorb the sauce. If the pasta gets too thick or tight, loosen by adding a little of the cooked pasta water.

 

Assembling:

Thinly slice the chicken breasts and set aside.

Serve the pasta individually or family style. For family style – add pasta to a large bowl or serving dish, top with slices of chicken breast. Spoon the pesto sauce over the chicken and serve hot.

 

NOTES

If your all-purpose seasoning already has salt it may not be necessary to add more salt to season. Remember also that the pesto sauce will have salt too.

Any type of pasta will work but I used bucatini (the long pasta we generally use for mac and cheese).