I love pasta. It was over bowls of pasta at a favorite Italian restaurant that Patrick told his parents we were getting married.
Patrick and I hadn’t been dating long, but we both knew we were meant for each other. I had been told that when you meet the right person, you just “know.” Many suitors before Patrick I asked myself,”do I know???” And then Patrick came along, and I just knew. We both knew we wanted to spend forever together before we even held hands. (You can read more about our Love Story here.)
Since we hadn’t been dating long, I hadn’t had the chance to meet his parents until all four of us were clustered around bowls of fettuccine, spaghetti bolognese, lasagna and pesto ravioli. As we were chatting, Patrick, asked his dad, “Can you pass the salt?” then under his breath with a muffled cough announced “and we’re getting married.” (He thought it would be funny to tell them this way). Both parents’ eyes grew wide as Patrick affirmed we were engaged followed by a flood of their happy tears.
Over 8 years and many bowls of pasta later, we are still meant for each other – we are better together. Kind of like fettuccine and Alfredo, spaghetti and bolognese, and this Creamy Sundried Tomato Pesto Pasta, Parmesan Chicken and YOU! A cheesy tie in? Yes, literally. Thank you Parmesan.
This Creamy Sundried Tomato Pesto Pasta reminds me of the tastes of Italy we giddily celebrated over that night. Its dimensions of flavor will transport your whole household to the finest Italian restaurant (at a fraction of the cost I might add). This pasta boasts layered flavors of sundried tomatoes, pine nuts, fresh basil, fresh parsley, garlic, shallots and spices with the crunch of sauteed bell peppers and squash, fire roasted tomatoes and smooth al dente pasta all bathed in a luscious creamy sauce. Now the ingredient list is long for this sauce, but I promise it comes together very quickly and is so worth it. Most of the ingredients are added to the food processor and processed a couple times-seriously takes less than a couple minutes. Please don’t shy away from this awesomeness.
The sundried tomato pesto is then sauteed until soft and fragrant, then the vegetables are added to saute as they soak up all the pesto goodness.
You can either consume this pasta as is (and you won’t be able to resist eating at least some of the pasta as it is), or you can add sauteed chicken or go to extra lengths of deliciousness and add chicken coated in spiced floured, browned and finished in the oven, broiled until crispy then piled high with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Basically amazing.
And you will be deliciously inseparable forever after.
- 12 oz.extra broad egg noodles (i like no yolk)
- 1 pound chicken breasts pounded thin (optional)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/3-1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
Chicken Breading (optional)*
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon dry basil
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Sundried Tomato Pesto
- 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained of oil
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 shallot, peeled
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 squash, sliced and quartered
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup chicken broth
- ½ cup heavy cream mixed with 2 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 cup milk
- 1 14.5 oz fire roasted garlic diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Pasta: Cook the pasta al dente in generously salted water
- Chicken (optional) : Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (for easy cleanup) and place a cooking rack on top; lightly spray cooking rack with cooking spray.
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Combine Chicken Breading ingredients in a bowl/shallow dish then dredge chicken breasts in mixture. Tap off any excess flour then add chicken to skillet and cook until golden brown on one side, 3-5 minutes. Flip and cook chicken until the other side is golden, 2-3 minutes, then transfer chicken to prepared cooking rack and finish baking in the oven, 5-7 minutes, or until cooked through (cooking time will depend on size and thickness of chicken). Broil chicken until crispy, flip chicken, top with Parmesan cheese and broil until cheese is golden.
- Creamy Sundried Tomato Pesto Sauce: Meanwhile, add Sundried Tomato Pesto ingredients to a food processor and process until well blended. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add Sundried Tomato Pesto and saute for 4 minutes. Add bell pepper and squash and saute an additional minute.
- Stir in chicken broth until well incorporated then stir in heavy cream/cornstarch slurry, milk, fire roasted tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and sugar. Bring sauce to a boil then reduce to simmer until thickened and vegetables are crisp-tender.
- Stir in cooked pasta. Add additional milk to reach desired consistency (optional). Taste and add additional salt, pepper, red pepper to taste.
- Top with chicken and serve.
Carlsbad Cravings Original
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(the first pasta I ever posted and still one of my favs!)