Try this homemade basil walnut pesto. It’s simple, easy to make and best for stirring in pasta.
Season chicken breast with salt, freshly ground pepper and Italian seasoning on both sides.
Heat EVOO in cast iron pan or a skillet. Cook seasoned chicken breasts in hot oil until seared golden brown on both sides and cooked through. Don’t overcook chicken, it’ll turn dry and rubbery.
Remove chicken from pan and let it rest for few minutes.
Slice chicken breasts into smaller pieces. Leave it aside.
Cook pasta is boiling water seasoned with generous amount of salt and little olive oil. Cook pasta as per packet instructions. Pasta should be cooked al-dente.
I recommend you transfer cooked pasta using tongs to a dry pot. No need to drain it. And definitely DO NOT RINSE the pasta.NOTE: Never stir in pesto sauce into the pasta on hot stove. It will turn black as basil leaves will begin to cook.
Pour pesto sauce over cooked pasta. Toss gently to coat pasta with pesto evenly.
The starchy pasta with it’s liquids helps the pesto sauce adhere and soak into the noodles. No need to add loads of olive oil to toss the pasta with pesto. Pasta cooking water (about ¼ to ½ cup or as required) can do the magic of making a creamy pesto pasta.
Add in seared chicken breasts cut into pieces.
Top it with fresh tomato salsa if you like, you can skip salsa if you don’t like it.
Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, few fresh basil leaves and toasted crushed walnuts.
Serve it as it is or stir chicken into the pasta and serve.
Best served immediately warm.