Monday, 5 November 2012

Creamy Pesto Pasta

This is one of those meals that just uses up the odds & ends in the fridge. Half a tub of this, half a jar of that, the 2 leftover chicken breasts and half a pack of mushrooms. I always keep a wedge of parmesan in my freezer, its grates perfectly from frozen. I made this for just me and my husband, but there are enough leftovers for my eldest daughter (who loves pesto) to have for lunch tomorrow with a nice chuck of crusty bread. It is quite a quick meal, it took me less than 30 minutes from start to finish. try using an interesting shaped pasta to liven it up a little. This is nice cold as well as hot. Add some pine nuts to add a crunch to the dish.

Serves 2 with leftovers. You can make more/less than my amounts, I was just using up extras from the fridge.

2 chicken breasts, diced
10 mushrooms, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Olive oil
Half a jar of basil pesto (or use homemade, recipe here.)
Half a tub of creme fraiche
Tablespoon of pine nuts (optional, but great for a crunchy texture)
300g of dried or fresh pasta
Fresh parmesan to garnish

Heat the oil on a medium heat in a large frying pan. Add the mushrooms & garlic, and stir fry for 3 or 4 minutes. Add the chicken and fry until coloured (about 10 minutes). Put the pasta on to cook, and cook til al dente. Save about 2 tablespoons of the pasta water.
While the pasta cooks, add the pine nuts & fry for another 3/4 minutes. Add the pesto and allow to cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the creme fraiche and heat through. Add the pasta water, stir and then add the pasta. Toss the pasta in the sauce until it is all coated.
Serve in bowls with fresh grated parmesan on top.


  1. Yum. I always find pesto too rich, so mixing it with creme fraiche seems the perfect solution.