Monday, October 10, 2011

Pesto is the new black

It was a dark and stormy weekend (I actually have no freaking clue what the weather was like), and like many weekends where you get hungry so did we. This isn't as dramatic as I hoped. Since I honestly don't care too much about Columbus Day, or whatever you call it in your state, I decided to be sort of topical and talk about something Italian.

Back to that weekend...

My daughter was sick and tired of my meals and chose a recipe from a cook book and gave me a list of ingredients. When the oven door opened, my love affair with pesto began.

Pesto Ravioli with Chicken

  • teaspoons olive oil

  • lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into strips

  • 3/4 cup chicken broth

  • 1 (9 ounce) package refrigerated cheese ravioli

  • small zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch slices

  • large red pepper, thinly sliced

  • 1/4 cup purchased basil pesto

  • fresh grated parmesan cheese

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut chicken breast into 1/2 inch pieces and toss with all remaining ingredients except the Parmesan cheese. Transfer ingredients into greased 9x13 pan, spread evenly, and sprinkle Parmesan cheese over top. Cover with foil and bake for 45-50 minutes. Remove foil for the final 5 minutes.

    Wear stretchy pants. Serve with a lightly tossed Caesar salad and fresh garlic bread.  

    Mama Mia! This stuff rocks! 
    From that day on, I've been looking for excuses to use pesto on new things. It's become an obsession and a secret ingredient. Is your spaghetti sauce boring? Pesto. Want to try a new twist on the home made pizza? Pesto. Grilling something and looking for a kick to your marinade? Pesto. Tired of plain hummus? Pesto. 

    So in honor of Italian Food Day (which is what I'm calling this holiday from here on out), do YOU have a favorite Italian dish? 


    Dave D. said...

    have you ever made the pesto.. and it not WHY!?!?! seems like a fairly straightforward "super sauce"

    Angie said...

    I have, yes. I prefer to buy the jar stuff because I am a combination of lazy and gluttonous. We go through it quickly when it's around the house.

    Steve Bailey said...

    I agree. Personally I like to add it to the marinade... tasty.... also its bright green color looks terrific in a food fight!

    Jen said...

    CHICKEN PICCATA (this shit is EPIC!)

    2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, butterflied and then cut in half
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    All-purpose flour, for dredging
    6 tablespoons unsalted butter
    5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    2 cloves garlic, chopped
    1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
    1/2 cup chicken stock
    1/4 cup brined capers, rinsed
    1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
    Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.

    In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 3 tablespoons olive oil. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add garlic and cook tl translucent. 2 pieces of chicken and cook for 3 minutes. When chicken is browned, flip and cook other side for 3 minutes. Remove and transfer to plate. Melt 2 more tablespoons butter and add another 2 tablespoons olive oil. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add the other 2 pieces of chicken and brown both sides in same manner. Remove pan from heat and add chicken to the plate.

    Into the pan add the lemon juice, stock and capers. Return to stove and bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from the pan for extra flavor. Check for seasoning. Return all the chicken to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove chicken to platter. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter to sauce and whisk vigorously. Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley.

    Linda Medrano said...

    That looks delish! I make chicken marsala and home made ravioli. Love Italian food! Pesto is wonderful on pizza I agree. It's also good on hot bread with a little fresh mozzerella and heirloom tomatoes! Brushetta! Yum!

    socialassassin said...

    Have to agree about the combination of pesto, tomato and warm bread, especially when toasted - always a winner. Handy tip - pesto can be mixed with mayonnaise and used to bind salads, or in wraps/tortillas. Or diluted into thick cream with a little marscapone for luxurious sauces!! And do look into making it yourself - it requires nothing more than pressing the 'on' button on a blender, and is ridiculously cheap compared to buying it.

    Angie said...

    I've never used it in a food fight because I'd be too tempted to hold someone down and lick it off them or you'd find me in the corner with my ammo looking for something to spread it on. Highly ineffective!

    Caper are a new fascination of mine so I definitely intend to give this one a try! Thank you so much for sharing!

    LOVE LOVE LOVE brushetta! When I was up at the Mountain House for dinner this past summer they had an heirloom tomato salad with Burrata. I nearly went straight to heaven (and the place is pretty close as it is). I really need to find out where to buy THAT. I could do so many things that would make my ass enormous with that! LOL ~mwah~ TY for saying heirloom tomato!

    I was thinking I might need to get one of those little Magic Bullet things from TV and make a few jars to have on hand and a few to take back to my mom. I just hate pulling out the food processor. The bullet would be more practical!

    Diana Burfield (BettyShmetty) said...

    My kids are tired of what I cook too. This seems super easy and looks delish! Thanks for the recipe!

    Miss Sassy Pants said...

    I loooooooooooooooooooooooove pesto. But I can't eat gluten... So I put it on everything else. Including things that it shouldn't be put on.

    Miss Sassy Pants said...

    PS. I LOVE your new blog layout.

    Juliette said...

    Can't beat a good spaghetti bolognese in my opinion. By the way, try pesto mixed with a soft cream cheese and a bit of milk to make a sauce and chuck that over your tagliettelli!

    Paula said...

    I think you may have just ruined my diet with this post, that looks and sounds amazing!

    Azra said...

    WOW. That looks DELICIOUS... it's currently 09:55pm... waaay to late for pasta... but guess what's on tomorrows menu? You're inspirational like that :)

    My Zimbio
    Top Stories