This pasta dish comes together quickly if one person grills chicken while another cooks the pasta and sauce. Garnish with basil sprigs, if desired. If you serve wine, a chardonnay complements the creamy sauce.
1 3/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 teaspoon salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
20 ounces uncooked farfalle (bow tie pasta)
1 tablespoon butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk, divided
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 (3.5-ounce) jar commercial pesto (about 1/3 cup)
Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place chicken on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 10 minutes or until done, turning after 6 minutes. Remove from grill; let stand 5 minutes. Cut chicken into 1/2-inch pieces; keep warm.
Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain in colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Place pasta in large bowl.
Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Combine 1/2 cup milk and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add milk mixture to pan, stirring constantly with a whisk. Stir in pesto. Gradually add remaining 1 cup milk and half-and-half, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook 8 minutes or until sauce thickens, stirring frequently. Add 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid, remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and 1 cup cheese; stir until cheese melts.
Add chicken and sauce to pasta, tossing well to coat. Add tomatoes and basil; toss gently. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese. Serve immediately.
With one bite, this jumped to the top of my CL favorites--and I've been a subscriber for over 20 years. The sauce is the key. The flavor is rich with the feel of comfort food. I used skim milk and fat-free half & half. As some have remarked, there is not a strong pesto flavor so you should add more if you love it. I grilled my chicken and thought it added to the dish. But you can skip that or use leftovers. I did not sprinkle w extra parm cheese at the end. The best thing is that serving size is pretty large at 2 cups.
I am a terrible cook, I can barely make eggs. I made this and I blew my own mind. I ended up forgetting to stir in the cheese, however I just added it at the end and it still tasted delicious and filled me up!
This was very good, but grilling the chicken is completely unnecessary - it adds no noticeable flavor and complicates the dish. That said, if you do grill, you should consider grilling a couple of zucchini and tossing them into the past as it is a VERY worthwhile addition. Otherwise, this works just as well with rotisserie chicken from the supermarket. (10-10-09)
This is one of our family's favorite recipes! So delicious!! I don't usually grill the chicken- I bake it, sautéed it and have even used rotisserie chicken in a pinch. Also, I use skim milk and whole wheat farfalle.
I had a difficult time trying to decide how to rate this recipe. When I first read the recipe it sounded rather bland but I did make it using several of the suggestions posted by other viewers. In addition, I was making this for just my husband and me so I had to tweak the ingredient amounts. I used one chicken breast, approx 6 oz. I cooked 4 ounces of farfalle. I used olive oil rather than the butter and I only had skim milk and fat free half and half. (I did add a touch of cornstarch to the milk and half and half combo). I deleted the tomatoes and instead had my husband grill a small zucchini cut in half lengthwise and then sliced and a whole red pepper cut into bite sized pieces in the grill wok. I did follow the technique for the sauce adding the grilled chicken, vegetables and 2/3 c thawed, frozen peas. We enjoyed this pasta dish and I am going to try other vegetable combinations. The pesto (I made my own) gave the sauce a wonderful flavor.