Kale & Basil Pesto with Orecchiette & Chicken

Some of the simplest dishes are simply the best! Pesto is one of my favorite things to eat when the weather is hot and humid. It’s light and requires no “cooking” itself. Although, the pasta and chicken does but not much!

What you’ll need:

  • 4-5 Leaves of Kale (flat or curly – your preference)
  • 1 bunch of fresh Basil
  • 3/4 lb of Orecchiette
  • 2 Chicken Breasts (or Tofu for a vegetarian option!)
  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
  • 1/3 oz of pine nuts
  • Cherry or Grape Tomatoes, sliced in half, optional
  • S & P

What to do:

  1. Bring water to a boil for the pasta.
  2. Cook according to the directions.
  3. Separately, place the chicken in a pot, cover with water and boil until cooked through for about 10-15 minutes. (If you’re using tofu, prepare according to the directions and cut into small cubes. Sautée with a little olive oil and S & P. 
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the pesto. Combine the kale, basil, 1/2 cup of cheese, pine nuts and oil in a food processor and put on high until it becomes a paste. (If you prefer a thinner sauce add more oil). 
  5. Drain the pasta and remove the chicken from heat. 
  6. Chop or shred the chicken. 
  7. In a large bowl, mix the pesto, chicken (or tofu) and pasta and until evenly combined. 
  8. Add S & P to taste. 
  9. Add in the tomatoes and top with the additional cheese on each plate. 

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