Basil pesto chicken pasta with a twist (588 calories per serve)

It’s drawing close to the end of summer but my herbs are still flourishing. My herbs usually grow into an uncontrollable bush in the summer before succumbing to the cold and dying. This year I had a particularly strong harvest of herbs, primarily because I moved them into pots indoors where the temperature is a bit more consistent. My basil plant in particular was doing very well … too well, actually. It was time I cut it down before it started blocking the sunlight from the other herbs (my parsley was yellowing in its shadow). I decided I would make basil pesto … but realised I didn’t have any pine nuts in the house … so I resorted to using another nutty substitute … tahini. Hence the twist.

Serves 4

Prep time 20 mins
Cook time 20 mins

200g fettucine (dry weight)
15g basil leaves (approx. 10 sprigs)
40g tahini
1 garlic clove
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 lemon, juice
500g chicken breast, thinly sliced
150ml light thickened cream

Boil the fettucine as per instructions until al dente depending on your preference.

Meanwhile, make the pesto but blending together the basil leaves (reserve a few leaves for garnish), tahini, garlic clove, 1 tbsp of olive oil and lemon juice. I blended it using my mini Kitchenaid mixer which also had a little reservoir with a hole at the top that drips the olive oil and lemon juice progressively into the mixture.

In a large pan, heat the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add the chicken pieces and cook for a few minutes until it’s no longer pink.

Then add the pesto and cream to the pan, stirring until mixed through. Let it simmer for a few more minutes until the sauce thickens.

Mix the fettucine with the pesto sauce, garnish with some basil leaves and serve. Parmesan cheese is optional and not included in the calorie count.


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