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You know those nights that you don’t want to spend all night in the kitchen, but want to feel like a chef? Yeah, this creamy pesto chicken pasta is perfect for exactly for those nights.
Ready in 30 minutes, so you can get back on your couch and Netflix. Or is that just me?
And I know, I know, it’s January, so you don’t need to be eating pasta, but since this recipe is pesto based, and it can easily be made low carb or keto friendly by substituting the spaghetti for any veggie based noodles, like spaghetti squash or zucchini!
I added some mushrooms to make it heartier, and some blistered tomatoes to add a bit of a freshness to the dish. Together they all blend together to make a a bowl of comfort, perfect for a night of binging TV.
For the pesto, you can make your own (which is easier than you think) or you can use store bought pesto sauce. If you choose to make your own, I’ve used this recipe from Food Network before, and it was delicious!
If you try the recipe, let me know below in the comments how it goes!
Creamy Chicken Pesto Pasta
- Spaghetti – 1/3 of the packet for 2-3 people, or 300 grams
- 1/2 lb of chicken breasts (approx. 2 chicken breasts) cubed
- 1/2 cup pesto for sauce + 1/4 cup pesto for chicken
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1-2 cloves chopped garlic (to taste)
- Red chilli flakes
- 1 cup or 75 grams fresh mushrooms
- 1 cup grape tomatoes (around 20-25)
- Cook the spaghetti pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Cube the chicken breasts and mix in 1/4 cup of pesto to coat the chicken
- Heat the skillet or pan. You won’t need any oil as the pesto is an oil based sauce.
- Over medium heat, cook the cubed chicken until it’s cooked through, no longer pink, around 4-8 minutes per side
- Remove from pan
Coffee MacaronsThese coffee macarons are made with macaron shells that feature a hint of cocoa, then filling with coffee buttercream for the most delicious hit of caffeine!Servings: 12 macarons
- Measuring scale
- Oven thermometer
- Stand mixer or Hand mixer
- Pastry bag
- #12 round tip (optional)
- 2 aluminum baking sheets with silicone mats or Silpat
- 67 grams almond flour
- 67 grams icing sugar
- 50 grams egg whites About 3 large egg whites
- 44 grams granulated sugar
- 5 grams cocoa powder
- pinch cream of tartar
Coffee Buttercream Filling
- 1 tablespoon hot water
- 1/2 tablespoon instant coffee
- 1/2 cup butter softened (113 grams)
- 1 cup icing sugar 120 grams
- Pre-heat oven to 300ºF.
- Separate the eggs from the egg whites (if using fresh eggs). Measure out 50 g (about 2 large eggs).
- In a separate bowl, sift the icing sugar, almond flour and cocoa powder together
- Repeat the sifting process to ensure there are no clumps. If there are any clumps, discard them.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the egg whites and a pinch cream of tartar. Beat on high until foamy.
- Once the egg whites are foamy, turn the mixer down to the lowest setting possible, and slowly add in the granulated sugar. Be sure to incorporate all the sugar into the egg whites.
- Turn up the mixer again on high, and keep beating egg whites until peaks form. DO NOT OVER BEAT.
- Once done, pour all the almond flour and icing sugar mixture into the egg whites.
- With a rubber spatula, fold the dry mixture into the egg whites, until the paste flows like a ribbon.
- Prepare a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat with a macaron template.
- Fit a pastry bag with a #12 round tip, if using, and trim the bottom as appropriate.
- Pour batter into the bag.
- Pipe circles onto the prepared baking sheet. You should get about 20-30 circles
- Once piped, rap the sheet on the counter to release all the air bubbles. Use a cookie scribe or toothpick to remove any smaller bubbles.
- Rest for 30 minutes, until the shells have formed a skin, and are no longer tacky to the touch.
- Bake in the oven, at 300°F for 12-13 minutes.
- Check for doneness, by wiggling the shell. Shells are done when they don’t move from the feet. If it wiggles from the feet, then bake for another minute, and check again.
- Cool the shells in the tray.
Coffee Buttercream Filling
- Dissolve 1/2 tablespoon instant coffee in 1 tablespoons of boiling hot water. Mix until combined, then set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat room temperature butter until fluffy - about 5-7 minutes.
- Add in 1/3 cup icing sugar and mix until incorporated, then add 1/2 tablespoon of hot coffee mixture. Mix in completely.
- Repeat process, until all the ingredients have been used up.
- Beat until incorporated and frosting is light and fluffy.
- If frosting is too soft, add in more icing sugar (2 tbsp at a time), if too frosting is too stiff, add a little cream (1 teaspoon at a time)
- Transfer frosting to a piping bag to fill the macarons.
Assembly & Decorate
- Once cool, remove macaron shells from the baking tray and pair similar-sized shells together to form the cookie sandwiches.
- Pipe in about 1-2 teaspoons of coffee buttercream filling onto half the shells.
- Carefully sandwich the cookie with its pair. Repeat to assemble all the cookies
- Macarons taste best when they've rested in the fridge for a day. Once all the cookies are assembled, store the macarons in the fridge for at least 24 hours to mature. Remove from fridge 20 minutes before serving.
Veggies and Sauce:
- In the same skillet as the chicken, cook mushrooms with the garlic, until tender and browned (around 5 minutes)
- Move the garlic to one side of the pan (or remove it, if it’s a small pan) and add the tomatoes.
- Let them cook until the tomatoes have blistered. You’ll know they’re close to being done once they start to explode.
- Remove the veggies from the pan.
- Turn down the heat to low, and add 1 tablespoon of butter.
- Once the butter is almost melted, add 1 tablespoon of flour, and mix until it forms a paste. Cook the flour for 2-3 minutes.
- Slowly, in one cup of milk to the mix, and constantly stir with a whisk or wooden spoon.
- Stir constantly until the sauce is smooth, and is thickened – about 4-5 minutes.
Put it together:
- Turn off the heat and add in 1/2 cup of pesto. Mix the sauce.
- Add the chicken, tomatoes, mushrooms and spaghetti to the pan.
- Toss the spaghetti together with sauce, chicken and veggies to combine.