I love fresh basil and there’s no dish that compliments the herb quite like a pesto dish. After our basil plant was flourishing and fragrant, I plucked off the leaves for this delicious Creamy Pesto Chicken Rigatoni.
- 3 cups rigatoni pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch pepper
- 1 1/2 cups grated parmesan
- 1 cup prepared pesto (recipe below)
- 2 grilled chicken breasts, sliced
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onion until tender and translucent. Add flour and coat onion. Gradually add two cups of milk, stop in between pouring to stir and allow the sauce to thicken. Ensure that there are no clumps in the sauce. Season with salt and pepper, and simmer 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in pesto. Add chicken and tomatoes. Cook 4 minutes, or until heated through.
- Toss with pasta until evenly coated. Serve immediately.
Basil Pesto Recipe
- 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
- 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Combine the basil, garlic, parmesan and pine nuts in a food processor/blender and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
- If using immediately, add all the remaining oil and pulse until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a serving bowl.
- If freezing, transfer to an air-tight container and drizzle remaining oil over the top. Freeze for up to 3 months.
The serving dish used in the picture is a hand painted Hernandez Talavara. I fell in love and purchased this piece in Mexico.