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Liz Della Croce
TODAY recipes
updated 11/15/2011 8:41:41 AM ET 2011-11-15T13:41:41

Recipe: Pesto chicken pasta with Swiss chard

Ingredients
  • 8 oz whole wheat penne
  • 12 oz boneless chicken breasts - cubed
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 bunch swiss chard - chopped
  • For pesto
  • 1 c basil leaves - packed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 c parmigiano reggiano cheese
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tbs pine nuts (toasted)
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Preparation

For pesto:
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend well. Season with salt/pepper to taste.

For pasta:
Prepare whole wheat penne according to package directions, reserving 1/2 cup starchy cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, heat a large sauce pan to medium-high heat and spray with non-stick spray. Season cubed chicken with salt and pepper before adding to pan. Cook until chicken is browned, about 7 minutes. Remove chicken from pan. Add swiss chard to the pan along with 2 tbs reserved cooking water. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up the browned bits leftover from the chicken. Cover and let steam for 2 minutes.

Add basil pesto to the chard and cook until warmed. Add more of the reserved pasta cooking water to loosen the pesto and create a sauce. Stir in chicken and pasta before serving.

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