{Almond Basil Pesto}

This was my first time making homemade pesto without pine nuts. I think I almost like the almonds better. It really did taste very similar, plus almonds are a lot cheaper!

Ingredients:

2-3 cups packed fresh basil leaves
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Put everything in a food processor, except for the olive oil. Turn the processor on slow until well mixed, then start drizzling the olive oil in until all mixed and paste like consistency. Salt and pepper to desired taste.

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{Creamy Pesto Pasta and Chicken}

I love any excuse to cook with pesto. This was a pretty quick meal, and the sauce was amazing.


Chicken:
4-5 chicken breasts
1/2 C flour
1/8 tsp salt
dash pepper
3 Tbs olive oil

Sauce: 
1 (6.25 ounce) jar pesto 
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 C milk
1 C chicken broth
1/2 tsp sugar
1 Tbs butter

Pasta:
1 box bowtie, penne or corkscrew pasta


Cut the chicken breasts into large chunks and set them aside. Toss together the flour, salt and some pepper into a shallow dish. 
Heat a large skillet up over medium high heat. Add 3 Tbs olive oil to the pan and let it get hot. 
Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour mixture and then place them in the hot pan. Turn the heat down to medium low. Let the chicken get golden brown on the bottom. Then turn them over and let them get brown on the other side. When the chicken is all cooked through, remove from the pan onto a clean plate. Cover with foil and set aside. 
While your chicken is cooking, boil some water and cook the pasta according to the directions of the package.
Pour one cup of chicken broth into the hot pan that the chicken was cooking in. Add 1 cup of milk, using a whisk to break up any crispy chicken leftovers on the bottom of the pan. Add just a little less than a cup of pesto and one block of softened cream cheese. Give it a stir. The cream cheese will start to melt down into the sauce. It may be chunky at first, but don’t worry. 
Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking it occasionally. Let simmer for about 5 minutes or until it thickens up a bit. 
Remove the pan from the heat and add 1/2 tsp sugar and 1 Tbs butter. If your sauce is too thick, add a little milk to thin it out. 
Serve over hot pasta with the chicken. 


Recipe Source: Jamie Cooks it Up 

{Pasta with Pesto Cream Sauce}

Oh how I am going to miss fresh basil from the farmers market this summer. I love pesto and finding new ways to use it. You can also just use pre-made pesto from the store and it would still be fantastic. I just loved how this was so quick and satisfying.

3/4 cups fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
3 Tbs pine nuts
2 garlic cloves, peeled
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 Tbs butter
1/4 cup grated parmesan
12 ounces pasta
2 whole tomatoes, diced
Cook pasta until al dente.
Add basil leaves, 1/2 cup Parmesan, pine nuts, and salt and pepper to a food processor or blender. Turn machine on, then drizzle in olive oil while it mixes. Continue blending until combined, adding additional olive oil if needed. Set aside.
Heat cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add pesto and stir.
Drain pasta and place in a serving bowl. Pour pesto cream over the top. Toss to combine. Add diced tomatoes and toss quickly. Serve immediately.
*Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

{Pesto and Veggie Pizza}

I took a trip to the Farmer’s Market today and couldn’t wait to come home and make a delicious meal with the basil, tomatoes, zucchini and spinach I got. I decided to just throw them all together on a pizza. I got the idea from my friend Kristin’s blog, that I absolutely love. It was very fresh and yummy!

Pizza dough (Love this one)
1/2 cup pesto
1 small Zucchini, sliced thin
1 large tomato, sliced thin
couple handfuls of baby spinach
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup feta

sprinkle of kosher salt for taste

Roll out the dough and place on a greased baking sheet. Spread on the pesto.Top with 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella. Layer with all the vegetables, sprinkle on the feta and then top it all off with the other 1/2 cup of mozzarella. Bake at 475 for 10-12 minutes.

{Tomato Basil Pizza}

I have been on a Vegetarian kick for a few weeks, not really intensionally, but I really am finding a lot of yummy meatless recipes that just seem lighter to me. I could handle this!

1 Recipe Of Your Favorite Pizza Dough (I used this)
1 jar Prepared Pesto, or make your own
Kosher Salt To Taste
Fresh Mozzarella
Roma Tomatoes
Fresh Parmesan Cheese

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

Press the pizza dough into a sheet pan or pizza stone

Smear the pesto over the pizza dough and sprinkle some kosher salt over it.
Slice the mozzarella thin enough to cover the pizza thoroughly. Next, lay thin slices of Roma tomatoes over the mozzarella.
Grate some fresh Parmesan cheese over the entire pizza.
Bake the pizza according to the crust directions. I usually bake mine for about 13-15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and a little brown on top.

{Pesto Chicken Grill Packets}

This is a good low cal meal with a lot of flavor!

4 chicken breasts
1 cup pesto (Jarred or Homemade)
2 zucchini, thinly sliced
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
8 scallions, trimmed

Drizzle 1 tsp of olive oil into center of each foil. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Lay 1 piece of chicken in center of each sheet and spread 1 Tbs pesto on top. Mound on zucchini, tomatoes, and a couple scallions over chicken. Dollop 3 Tbs pesto over that and fold up foil over all and pinch the edges to seal. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 355 degrees for 35 minutes.

Pesto:

2 cups fresh basil
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper

Blend first 4 ingredients in a food processor and slowly add in olive oil till well mixed. Salt and pepper to taste.

{Penne with Pesto and Chicken}

This is one of my favorite pasta recipes. I Adore anything with Pesto in it or on it. I kinda just threw whatever I thought sounded good in this dish, thats what’s great about it, it really goes good with most anything.

Chicken:
4-5 chicken breasts
Juice from one lemon
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried basil
Salt

In a large pot pour water over the chicken breasts and then add the remaining ingredients to the water and boil for about 40 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and cooked through. Once its done let cool and then shred into a large bowl.

Pesto:
1 garlic clove
2 cups fresh basil
1/4 Cup pine nuts
salt and pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

In a food processor blend garlic, basil, pine nuts and salt and pepper. While the processor is going pour in olive oil and the parmesan cheese

-Cook a box of penne pasta unil done, drain and add to the shredded chicken bowl. Add the pesto sauce and toss to coat. Then I had about a 1/2 cup of pine nuts. And some grape tomatoes cut in half. I have also added some walnuts and some freshly grated parmesan cheese which is also really good.