September 8, 2010

A Keeper - Pasta with Chicken and Roasted Tomato Almond Pesto Sauce

The other day my husband sent me on a "hunt" for a red pasta sauce. We both love pasta but I have been cutting it out of our meal plans as it's so easy for me to eat more than one portion  of it - and when watching the calories it's sooo easy to add on to many of those with pasta dishes. Also,when buying marina sauces they usually come in  large containers which is more than we usually eat anyway. And I have not been really thinking about making a sauce from scratch.
My "hunt" started and I was determined to find a recipe with the ingredients we like, not to many special items to buy and still easy to make. And I found one on - again. I tested it first the other day with a small portion and knew immediately that my husband will love it as well. I made the sauce from scratch while preparing the spagetti and grilling some chicken. Including the frequent stops for taking the pictures for this blog I got the whole meal done in less than 30 minutes. And we both decided - this one is a keeper!

Roasted Tomato Almond Pesto Sauce
adapted from

1 can 14.5 oz Fire Roasted Tomato sauce with Garlic
1/4 cup of sliced Almonds (bought in the bulkfood section- just a small amount)
1/4 cup of fresh basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon of red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup fresh shredded parmesan cheese

1. Heat up a small pan and toast the almond slices for a couple minutes until they get slightly brown and you can smell them. Meanwhile open the can of tomatoes and drain them a bit.

2. Add the almonds in the food chopper or food processor and grind for a few seconds. Add the tomatoes, basil, red wine vinegar, olive oil  and crushed pepper and run the processor again. Last but not least add the parmesan cheese.

Either transfer the sauce into a small sauce pot to heat up or refrigerate.You can also freeze it- although I highly doubt that you will have leftover.

When preparing the whole meal  here the time saver tips and the order of steps:
additional ingredients you will need:
whole wheat pasta - 2 oz per serving
1 chicken breast per serving
salt and lemon pepper

1. Prepare the chicken- remove any fat and flatten the chicken breast (I use a meat mallet).
    Cut in smaller pieces. Salt and pepper.
2. Start to boil a pot of water for the pasta.You can omit the salt.
3. Prepare the sauce while water starts boiling. Add pasta to the water and set timer for 6-7 minutes.
4. Heat up some olive oil in a pan and add chicken. It takes about 5-6 minutes to get it done as the meat is small.
5. Drain Pasta. Heat up sauce.
6. Serve and enjoy.

By doing the sauce yourself you are not really adding much more time than using a store bought sauce.

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