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Chicken Florentine Pesto Pasta

10 Jan

Chicken Florentine Pesto Pasta.  That’s a mouthful. 🙂  But don’t let the lengthy moniker fool you.  This tasty pasta dish is deliciously simple.  Bonus:  it’s good for you!

Chicken Florentine Pesto Pasta

Chicken Florentine Pesto Pasta boasts players like chicken breast, garlic, spinach, and pesto.  We love making easy homemade pesto, which tastes fresh and super delish.  You’ll love making your own pesto, which also stores well in the fridge.  I haven’t tried store bought pesto, but it’ll probably work in a pinch.

Chicken Florentine Pesto Pasta 2

This Chicken Florentine pasta dish is light and perfect for keeping up all those healthy New Year resolutions.  What this dish isn’t light on is flavor.  It is absolutely savory and yummy.  My family loves this pasta, and my 3 year old actually chomps away happily at the spinach!  (Now, if I can get the older siblings to do the same.)

Chicken Florentine Pesto Pasta 3

Serve up this pasta with a nice crisp Sauvignon Blanc, and you’ve got a fabulous dinner!  Make it a delicious weeknight supper for the family or weekend dinner with guests.  Either way, this Chicken Florentine Pasta is phenomenal.  Enjoy!

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RECIPE (6-8)

INGREDIENTS

16 oz dried penne pasta
4 chicken breast pieces (about 1 1/2 lbs total)
kosher salt and table salt
freshly cracked black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup crisp white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
9-10 oz bag of fresh baby spinach
1/4 cup cream
1/2 cup prepared pesto
1 cup freshly grated parmesan

DIRECTIONS

Boil a large pot of well-salted water.  Cook penne until al dente.  Drain (don’t rinse.)  Toss drained penne with some olive oil to prevent sticking.  Keep warm.

While pasta is preparing, make the chicken:  Put cling wrap over each piece of chicken on a cutting board.  Pound each piece evenly thin (about 1/4 inch thickness.)  Sprinkle each chicken piece lightly and evenly with kosher salt and pepper, on both sides.  Heat 2 TB of olive oil in a large skillet and brown two of the chicken breasts on both sides over medium high heat.  Cook just until chicken is cooked through; about 2-3 minutes per side, depending on how cold and thick the chicken is.  Repeat with remaining pieces.  Slice chicken breasts into strips and set aside.

Put chopped onion and garlic into skillet with 2 TB oil.  Saute 2-3 minutes until fragrant.  Add the white wine and 1/2 tsp table salt.  Boil vigorously until liquid is reduced by half, about 2 minutes.

Add fresh spinach and saute on medium-low, stirring often, just until spinach begins wilting.  Turn heat to low.  Add cooked chicken, cream, and pesto, stirring to combine and warm up, about 1 min.  Remove from heat.

In a large serving bowl or dish, combine cooked penne with the chicken/spinach mixture.  Season with more kosher salt and pepper to taste.  Mix in fresh parmesan, reserving some for garnish.  Serve immediately.

Wine Pairing Note:  This pasta dish is perfect with a crisp, light Sauvignon Blanc

Source:  Chew Out Loud, adapted from Simply Recipes 

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5 Responses to “Chicken Florentine Pesto Pasta”

  1. Liz January 11, 2013 at 8:32 am #

    your photos are lovely:-)

  2. Rachel Farndon January 14, 2013 at 7:59 am #

    Precisely what I wanted for dinner tonight! And now I have the recipe!

  3. epicureantease January 14, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

    This looks FABULOUS! I love that it’s light! I’m not a big fan of heavy creamy sauces, so this is perfect! I can’t wait to try it. 🙂

  4. Sarah February 15, 2013 at 9:39 pm #

    Made this for dinner tonight and it’s delicious! Just wanted to let you know that you left out when to add the pesto on the recipe (I assumed at the end and that’s what I did:) Thanks for the yummy recipe!

    • chewoutloud February 16, 2013 at 1:02 am #

      Awesome, Sarah! (thanks for letting me know about pesto; updated that in the recipe!) 🙂

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