Monday, August 27, 2012

Cavatappi in Pesto Cream Sauce with Italian Herb Chicken

In celebration of culinary school starting TODAY (squeal!) I made my favorite for dinner last night. This is my favorite meal. There. I said it. For whatever reason, I'm insecure about it. I feel like it's not significant enough to be my favorite because it's so easy. But oh gosh, it is. And if I'm being honest (and I am) I have rationed the left overs for myself and myself only so that I can eat them for lunch everyday this week. It's so simple and so good. It's sort of a knock off of the pesto cavatapppi from Noodles and Company. Only better. Being a pesto loving girl it's no suprise that when mixing pesto with butter and cream I'm on board. This is a really easy (really yummy) way to use up that pesto in your fridge. Don't worry about using only cavatappi pasta any sauce catching pasta will do the trick, bow ties with this sauce work great. However I am partial to the twistie cavatappi noodles, they're just fun. Serve with crusty garlic bread and plenty of extra parmesan for sprinkling. Try this easy pasta dish and people will love you (or just share with me and I will love you). 
Cavatappi in Pesto Cream Sauce

16 ounces of Cavatappi pasta noodles (or any other short cut type pasta you like)
1 cup heavy cream
4 tbsp butter
1/2 cup fresh or jarred pesto
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
In a large pot boil pasta in salted water till al dente. Drain and set aside. While the pasta is cooking, in a small sauce pan over medium low heat warm cream and butter until butter is melted, stirring to combine. Once butter is melted turn heat up to medium and add pesto to cream and butter, stir. Allow the mixture to bubble around the edges and thicken up, about 2 minutes, do not let the sauce boil, just gently simmer and bubble. Once the sauce is thick turn the heat off and sprinkle in the Parmesan cheese stir until it's melted. Add the drained pasta back into the big pot and pour the sauce over, toss to coat. Add the chicken and serve, immediately while its hot with a final sprinkle of Parmesan.
Italian Herb Chicken:
4 chicken breasts
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic salt
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar

In a small mixing bowl whisk to combine all ingredients. Pour into a zip lock bag over chicken and allow to marinate at least 30 minutes. When the chicken has absorbed the flavor of the marinade grill on both sides for about 6 minutes (you could also cook it in a saute pan, whichever you prefer). When the chicken is cooked through place it on a cutting board and rest the meat, about 3 minutes. Cut with a serrated blade on an angle and toss with pasta, or throw on a salad. Options people, Options! 


  1. looks terrific! I want to hear how your first day of school went!

  2. Yummm that sounds so good! And I love that you made it in your Minnie apron!!