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Grilled Chicken and Pesto Farfalle

Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross
Yield 10 servings (serving size: 2 cups pasta and about 1 1/2 tablespoons cheese)
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.

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 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)
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 4 cups halved grape tomatoes (about 2 pints)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

Nutrition Information

  • calories 508
  • caloriesfromfat 30 %
  • fat 16.7 g
  • satfat 7.7 g
  • monofat 6.5 g
  • polyfat 1.1 g
  • protein 38.3 g
  • carbohydrate 50.7 g
  • fiber 2.9 g
  • cholesterol 81 mg
  • iron 3.5 mg
  • sodium 781 mg
  • calcium 397 mg

How to Make It

  1. Prepare grill to medium-high heat.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Add chicken and sauce to pasta, tossing well to coat. Add tomatoes and basil; toss gently. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese. Serve immediately.