Monday, September 14, 2015

Basil Addict

I love basil.  I love it fresh, in pesto, in pastas, on pizzas, you name it.  My husband, on the other hand, doesn't love it so much.  I think it's the smell more than the taste of it.  I love the flowery smell of basil.  It smells so fresh and makes me think of the garden.  I can sneak small amounts in his food sometimes, but, if he sees me with it, he turns up his nose. So generally I try to save recipes with basil for when he's out of town.

I know I've told you, but I've been on a mission for quick weeknight meals.  Time is precious to me, and I don't have a lot to spare.  While I really don't use a lot of jarred or canned foods, I did find a pesto in a jar that I loved so much that I could have just sat down with a spoon and eaten it by itself. It's the Classico brand of traditional pesto.  (No, I'm not being reimbursed by them.  Just thought I'd share it with you.)  So I wanted to make a quick Chicken in Pesto Mushroom Cream Sauce.  I served it over angel hair pasta.  Boy oh boy, was this pasta good.  It came together quickly and tasted fabulous.

On a side note, awhile back I asked my husband to get me some Texas Toast while he was at the grocery store.  I was wanting the thick-sliced sandwich bread called Texas Toast, but what I got was Texas Toast frozen garlic bread.  I laughed and stuck it in the freezer.  I saw it when I was making this pasta and thought, what the heck.  No offense to Texas Toast, but that stuff was hard and crunchy when it came out of the oven.  Maybe I cooked it wrong.  Anywho, enjoy the pasta!

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
2 T butter
Olive oil
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 C heavy cream
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 C shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 C chicken stock
1/4 C traditional basil pesto
1 T lemon juice
Salt & pepper, to taste
1 T chopped Italian parsley
1/2 lb angel hair pasta

Cook the pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, over medium high heat, melt the butter in a skillet and drizzle in some olive oil.  Cook the onions for 3-4 minutes.  Add in the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are soft, about 5 minutes.  Add in the garlic and chicken and cook another 3-4 minutes.  Add in the cream, chicken stock, pesto and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes to thicken the sauce.  Remove from the heat.  Stir in the Parmesan cheese in small handfuls and stir until smooth.  Serve the chicken over the pasta and garnish with the parsley.

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