BOWTIE PASTA WITH CHICKEN PESTO ALFREDO
My roommate and I were at the grocery store yesterday, and I was thinking about a way that we could use up the heavy whipping cream that we had leftover from making the Rigatoni with Vodka Sauce last weekend. Alfredo sauce stuck out as something to try, since most of the time I buy it in a jar. Then, I thought that I could probably jazz it up a little bit more by adding pesto into the mix. I’ve had a pasta dish at a restaurant before with pesto alfredo, and it was amazingly creamy, rich, and full of the flavor from the basil. With all of these components swirling around in my head, it was time to put it all together.
Ingredients – Yields a little over 2 cups of sauce
~ 1 box bowtie (Farfalle) pasta
~ 6 tbsp butter
~ 1 cup heavy whipping cream
~ 1 cup milk
~ 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
~ 2 egg yolks
~ Garlic powder
~ 3 tbsp prepared pesto sauce
~ 3 chicken breasts
~ Italian seasoning
Take the butter in a large saucepan and melt it down over medium heat. While that is going, take a little bit of the heavy whipping cream and mix it together with the egg yolk, setting that aside when you’re finished. When the butter is fully melted, start to add the heavy cream and milk, whisking while you are doing it. After it’s thickened up a little bit, add in the Parmesan cheese and whisk more until melted. At this point, add in the salt, pepper, and garlic powder, tasting while you are doing so until it reaches a point that you are satisfied with the taste. Then, add in the cream/egg yolk mixture and simmer the sauce at medium-low heat for 4 – 5 minutes. When that’s done, add in the 3 tablespoons of pesto sauce and stir it up. If you really want to add more pesto than that, give the sauce a try at each addition, ensuring that the pesto doesn’t overwhelm the alfredo. Take another taste of the sauce and see if you need to add more salt, pepper, or garlic powder, now that all the ingredients have been incorporated in the sauce. Set that pot aside on another burner on low heat. In another large pot, boil some water and start to prepare the bowtie pasta, cooking according to the box’s instructions.
For the chicken breast, take them out of the package and trim away all of the fat. Season both sides with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning, and then put it onto the stove over medium-high heat. You want to ensure that neither side will burn as you’re cooking it, and that it will cook all the way through. My chicken breasts took the good portion of about 14 minutes to cook, mostly because they were thicker pieces. I flipped them pretty frequently too, so on average I would say flip them every 2 – 3 minutes if you are cooking a thicker piece. When they are done, cut them up into smaller chunks and add them into the pesto alfredo sauce. Throw the cooked pasta into the pot as well and you’re ready to go for the meal!
Alfredo sauce is really hearty by itself, and by incorporating the pesto sauce, you add in an additional layer of flavor to the overall dish that accentuates things nicely. The sauce paired really well with the bowtie pasta, and could really be mixed in with many other types of pasta as well.