This sounds like your every day throw it together quickly and be done with it dinner. But it's not! It is quick and easy, but it took an average pre-made pesto and made it better (and stretched it farther)!
By adding some ingredients to the pesto, it made a small amount go a long way...I ended up using leftover sauce in another dish later in the week!
This was a quick, tasty and filling meal that was easy on the grocery bill!! And hopefully this will be the last time this summer that I have to buy pesto at the grocery store...there is basil on our back porch! Let's see if I can keep it alive! :)
Grilled Chicken and Pesto Farfalle
1 3/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 teaspoon salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
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
1. Prepare grill to medium-high heat. (I used a grill pan.)
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. (I did not add salt and I wish I would have...it needed it!) 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. Add chicken and sauce to pasta, tossing well to coat.
9. Add tomatoes and basil; toss gently.
10. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese. Serve immediately.