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Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross Photo by: Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross

Grilled Chicken and Pesto Farfalle

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.

Cooking Light SEPTEMBER 2008

  • Yield: 10 servings (serving size: 2 cups pasta and about 1 1/2 tablespoons cheese)

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

Preparation

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.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 508
  • Calories from fat: 30%
  • Fat: 16.7g
  • Saturated fat: 7.7g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 6.5g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.1g
  • Protein: 38.3g
  • Carbohydrate: 50.7g
  • Fiber: 2.9g
  • Cholesterol: 81mg
  • Iron: 3.5mg
  • Sodium: 781mg
  • Calcium: 397mg
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