Make the pesto ahead of time, and refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.
1 (7-ounce) jar oil-packed sun-dried tomato halves
1 1/2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 (6-ounce) bag prewashed baby spinach
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated fat-free milk
1 (3-ounce) package goat cheese, crumbled
6 cups hot cooked cavatappi (about 4 cups uncooked pasta)
How to Make It
To prepare pesto, drain sun-dried tomatoes in a sieve over a bowl, reserving oil. Place 2 tablespoons reserved oil in a food processor. Place remaining oil in sun-dried tomato jar; reserve for another use. Coarsely chop 1/4 cup drained tomatoes; set aside. Place remaining drained tomatoes in food processor. Add basil, water, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 2 garlic cloves to food processor; process until finely minced.
To prepare pasta, heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken from pan. Add minced garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Add balsamic vinegar and baby spinach; cook for 2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Stir in pesto and evaporated fat-free milk. Bring to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes. Add crumbled goat cheese; cook until cheese melts, stirring constantly. Return chicken to pan; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Combine chicken mixture and pasta, tossing well to coat. Sprinkle with reserved 1/4 cup chopped drained tomatoes.
My fiance and I LOVED this. I followed the recipe exactly, except I used a 13.5 oz box of whole wheat spaghetti for the pasta, and I added an extra 1/2 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar. We almost added pinenuts after reading the reviews, but we forgot to pick them up at the store- and we felt the dish really didnt need them. It wasn't missing anything- it was perfect!
Very good recipe! Came together quickly considering all of the prep work. Only changes were a little more garlic and I used regular evaporated milk as that is what I found at the store. It is a very filling meal. A lot of times my husband and I find ourselves wanting a little more that what the recommended serving is but this was perfect. Will certainly make again!
I was on the fence about this one before cooking it, but wow, the whole family loved it. I followed the recipe exactly and it came together super fast (I had precut the chicken the night before so this saved alot of time). In the time it took to boil water and cook the pasta, I had the pesto made and chicken cooked. I agree with the previous reviewer that next time toasted pine nuts would be an awesome addition. Yummy weeknight meal!
This dish turned out great. I used spaghetti noodles because I couldn't find the other stuff. I do agree with another reviewer that the dish is missing just a little something. I might try adding toasted walnuts next time to round out the flavors. The sauce was very creamy and tasted like it would be much more fattening than it is. I also think the flavors are good enough to go meatless. I'll definitely make this again. I recommend serving the dish with a green salad tossed with any leftover goat cheese, red onions, evoo and balsamic vinegar. Very tasty!
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