Chicken and green bean pesto pasta.

Chicken and green bean pesto pasta

Today is officially the final day of summer in the Uk and it has been the wettest summer in 103 years, as I found out on the news this morning. Ouch! Whilst the weather might have been a bit of a washout the summer of 2012 has been anything but. London has been a fantastic place to be this year, we kicked off the summer with the diamond jubilee back at the beginning of June and since then there has been so much going on. From the London Oympics and the Paralympics (which I can’t wait to go and see next week) to the Notting hill carnival, Europe’s biggest street festival it has been a really fun place to be. Along side the bigger events some of the highlights of the summer for me were going to Shakespeare’s Globe to see Richard the third. Its open air and being London I got rained on but it was all in good fun.

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Its been a good summer for food too. Though the parade at the Notting hill carnival may not have been as good as previous years, as we didn’t see much of it, the Brazilian curry I had was as good as any street food I have tried. Then at the Globe I had an awesome hot dog with lashings of fried onions, yum!

I made this recipe a couple of weeks ago, back in that awesome and wet summer when I wanted food which was light and bright and colourful, but filling against the cold weather.

Ingredients
Serves 2

400g dried penne pasta
2 chicken breasts
a large handful of green beans
3 spring onions
1-2tbsp olive oil
3tbsp double cream
5tsp ready made pesto

optional
50g (a handful) of toasted pine nuts
1tsp dried chilli flakes

Rocket and spinach salad leaf salad to serve.

Recipe

Prepare the spring onions by chopping finely. Top and tail the green beans ready to go to. Preheat your oven to 180c. Pop the chicken breasts on a oven tray lined with tin foil and a little olive oil to prevent them sticking. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes depending upon how thick they are. Once cooked right through take out the oven and leave to cool before shredding.

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To cut down on the cooking time you could use ready cooked chicken breasts or if you have left overs from a roast this is a good way to use them up.

Pop on a big pan of water to boil. Most recipes will say to add a bit of salt. This stops the pasta sticking together but I usually don’t add any. When the water is boiling add the pasta and cook for 10 minutes.

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Fry gently for 5 minutes then stir through the pesto and finally add the cream. Be sure to remove it from the heat quickly once you have added the cream as it could over cook and split.

Drain the pasta reserving a little of the cooking water. Stir the pasta through the sauce. If it seems a little dry then add some of the reserved pasta water.

Serve with a nice peppery rocket and spinach salad.

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