Chicken Linguine with Pesto Cream Sauce

This was a really simple meal that was surprisingly delicious.  It was a crowd pleaser, for sure.  I had this flavor in mind when I was throwing this recipe together and I was totally sure it wasn't going to come close.  I was way wrong.  This recipe hit the nail dead on the head.  I think I just got lucky with the pesto that I bought.  I really had no other option because I can never find anything at walmart (even though I do my grocery shopping there every week) and the Classico brand was the only thing I could find.

I think next time I will double the sauce tho because I'm just a saucy kinda person.  I like everything drowning in copious amounts of sauce.  I made a one substitution and that was to use almond milk (because it's what I had in my fridge) instead of heavy cream.  It turned out just fine.  In fact, I think I prefer the thinner consistency.  Oh, and I also added some veg. 

Once again, this meal is also my photo of the day for April 5, 2011.

Chicken Linguine with Pesto Cream Sauce
adapted from Handle the Heat

2 large chicken breasts, cut thinly in half lengthwise 
(my two weighed exactly 1 lb 11 oz)
Coarse salt and pepper
EVOO or cooking spray
1 box of linguine 
1 (8 oz) jar of basil pesto sauce
1/2 c. milk or heavy cream
1/2 c. reserved pasta water
Frozen veg (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 
  2. Season chicken breast with salt and pepper to taste. 
  3. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and grease the pan with cooking spray or oil (I used EVOO in a misto). 
  4. Bake chicken for about 15 minutes or until cooked through.  When chicken is done cooking, slice thinly across the grain and keep warm.
  5. Meanwhile, cook pasta to al dente according to package directions (the shortest cook time listed on the box).  
  6. Remember to reserve 1/2 c of pasta water before straining the noodles.
  7. Add pesto to the pan and heat until loose. Add milk (or cream).  Stir to combine.  Heat through then remove half of the sauce to another bowl. 
  8. If your adding veg, add it now and cover the pan for a few minutes until the veg is warm. 
  9. Add the chicken, pasta, and reserved water to the pan once the veg is warm.  Toss to coat evenly.  
  10. Serve with some of the reserved sauce drizzled over each serving.   
If you double the sauce this would be good served with some bread to sop it up.  If you don't there won't be enough extra sauce to sop. If doubled, I would then reserve 3/4 of the sauce instead of half or all the extra will get absorbed by the pasta. 


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