Basil Pesto Chicken with garlic tomato pasta

basil pesto chicken tomato pasta 2

I can NOT wait until we can start planting our garden this year. We have such a short growing season here that you really need to appreciate that couple of months you get to grow your own food. There is something so special about it! My tomatoes last year were UNREAL. I had 5 tomato plants in pots (yes I have all my garden goodies in pots, and they’ve been doing better and better each year) and I got an unreal amount of tomatoes. I had batches on batches of salsa, stewed tomatoes and sauces. This year, I’m going to try doing passata as well!

Anyways, this dish is inspired by my excitement for my tomato season and basil season, and obviously my all time ever lasting love for pasta. Here is a delicious supper full of tomato, basil pesto and perfectly seasoned chicken. If you want this to be vegan, use kabocha squash or chickpeas in place of chicken. this will change your cooking process.

 

Ingredients: (serves 2)

  • 2 TBSP EVOO
  • 2 chicken breasts, pounded so they’re even for cooking
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1.5c grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1/2c veggie or chicken stock
  • 1/2c or more of smoked mozzarella, grated
  • 1/4c basil pesto homemade or store bought (I always make this one)
  • linguini, fettuccine or spaghetti work well for this dish.

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions
  2. Add EVOO to a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Season chicken breasts on both sides with salt, pepper, garlic powder and basil. Once the skillet is hot, add the chicken. let it brown on one side for a couple minutes then flip it over and brown it on the other side. this might take anywhere from 4-6 minutes per side depending on the size of your breasts. if your chicken is a nice golden brown then it’s safe to flip it over.
  4. Remove the chicken from the skillet to a plate.
  5. Turn your heat down to medium. Toss your tomatoes, onions and garlic into the skillet. De-glaze with your veggie stock, and stir often until your tomatoes start to burst. if they’re not bursting fast enough for your liking, use a potato masher and do it yourself. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.
  6. Add your chicken back to the skillet and cook until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160F. add your pesto on to the chicken breasts and sprinkle them with cheese. Put a large lid over your pan and let the cheese melt for a minute.
  7. Remove the chicken to dinner plates. Toss your cooked pasta with the tomato mixture and serve! Sprinkling more cheese on top is also never a bad idea.

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Bacon Penne Carbonara with peas and Leeks

For the love of BACON. Lazy nights equal lazy suppers. Although this dish only takes moments to prepare, it definately does NOT lack in flavour! Pasta, garlic, leeks, fresh peas, bacon and cheese. Need I say more?

bacon penne carbonara 2

Ingredients: (serves 4)

  • 3c dried penne pasta
  • 1 lb bacon
  • 1 leek, quartered and sliced and rinsed
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1.5c fresh peas
  • 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • parmigianno reggiano
  • parsley, rough chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste

bacon penne carbonara

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, salt the water. Add your penne, and cook until el dente.
  2. In a large skillet over medium high heat, add your bacon. Cook bacon to your liking, drain as much fat as you can.
  3. Once the bacon is almost done cooking, add in your leeks, peas and garlic. Cook until leeks are softened and peas are bright green. (Only a few minutes)
  4. In a measuring cup, gather 1 cup of starchy pasta water and add the 2 egg yolks to the water. Beat the eggs and water together and then pour over your bacon mixture.
  5. Drain the pasta and add it to the large skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with cheese and parsley, toss everything together and serve!

Spring Gnocchi with fresh herbs

Dinner tonight is super fresh and super simple! There’s a little bit of chopping, and we cheated by buying our gnocchi instead of making it today. Oops! No time for that today! This was quite the refreshing dish. I love all the green in it! Give it a try!

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Ingredients: (serves 4)

  • 700g fresh potato gnocchi
  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • 4 tbsp butter, divided
  • 1 large leek, diced and rinsed to remove dirt
  • 1 small bunch of asparagus, tough ends broken off, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 4 large green onions, whites and greens separated, and sliced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, sliced (not minced. we want nice big but thin pieces.)
  • 1c Peas
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2c parmigiano reggiano + more for serving
  • few leaves of basil, torn
  • 1/2c parsley, rough chopped

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, add 2 tbsp EVOO and 2 tbsp butter. Let the butter melt and the oil get nice and hot. Add your gnocchi in and brown on both sides.
  2. Once your gnocchi is browned, add in your leeks, asparagus, whites of the green onions and garlic. Cook until the leeks and asparagus start to get tender. (a few minutes.)
  3. Add in your fresh peas, remaining 2 tbsp butter, greens of the green onions, and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add your lemon zest and your lemon juice, 1/2c parmigianno reggiano, parsley and basil. Remove from heat and serve immediately. Sprinkle with more cheese!
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Basil Chicken Pasta

Hi everyone!! What a weekend we have had over here! We had a wonderful dinner with friends friday evening where Jacob (our 13 month old son) got to visit and play with his “girlfriend” who is one month older than him! It was so nice to get to see them play together and eat together! How special. Saturday evening we went to Paul’s parents house to visit with his grandmother. Jacob has never met his great grandmother so it was very special for us to spend some time with her before she went back home. THEN after dinner, we had gone to a friends housewarming party! It was a fantastic (and late) night with friends! I am still exhausted today from not getting to bed early enough! Needless to say, when it came to dinner I really didn’t want to work too hard.

Thankfully in the summer I get to can and freeze home grown tomatoes from my mom, and my mother in laws gardens. I get to can stewed tomatoes, salsa, pasta sauces and soups. How lucky am I? I had one can left of stewed tomatoes, and a basil plant that was on its last legs today. SO we are having a pasta for dinner tonight. What an easy meal to make. Get a pot of water going to boil your pasta, and flavour your tomatoes for a sauce and cook some chicken. SIMPLE.

Hopefully you all had a great weekend whether it was busy or relaxing!!! Here we go!

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESIngredients: (Serves 3)

  • 2 8oz chicken breasts, pounded to the same thickness
  • fresh ground Salt and pepper
  • 1.5 tsp dried basil, divided
  • 1/2tsp thyme
  • 2c stewed tomatoes
  • 1c chicken stock (or just use the starchy cooking water from your boiling pasta.)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
  • 1C loosely packed fresh basil leaves, sliced or torn
  • pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated
  • 6-8oz dried spaghettini

Directions:

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Season your chicken on both sides with salt, pepper and 1 tsp dried basil. In a med-large skillet over medium heat add 1 tbsp EVOO. once thats nice and hot, add your chicken and brown it on both sides. Remove the chicken from the pan and on to a plate, cover it with foil. Your chicken will not be cooked through at this point.
  3. Add another tbsp of EVOO to your skillet. Add your onions, brown them. Once they’re nicely browned add your garlic and cook until fragrant.
  4. Add your stewed tomatoes and your chicken stock to the garlic and onion mixture. Season with salt, pepper, 1/2 tsp of dried basil and thyme. Add your chicken back to the skillet, cover, and let cook until chicken is cooked through. This shouldn’t take very long, use a meat thermometer to read the chicken in the fattest part. it should read 165.
  5. Once your chicken is cooked through, remove it from the sauce. Place on a cutting board and slice it all up in to strips.
  6. Add your cooked pasta, fresh basil and freshly grated cheese to the sauce and toss it all together. Add your chicken on top, or on the side. Serve!

Corn and Bacon Carbonara

One of the best things in the whole world besides everybody’s love for bacon, is pasta! And what better way to eat pasta than to eat it freshly made? There is something so mouth watering about a home made pasta, it is simple, delicious and SUPER fast cooking. If you don’t feel like making pasta, most grocery stores sell fresh pasta in the refrigerated section, or you can even just use boxed stuff. Whatever makes you happy. This recipe is also a good way to use up corn from the garden in the summer!

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Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack of bacon, diced
  • 1lb fresh pasta such as fettuccini, spaghetti or linguine
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 ears of corn, shaved OR 2 cups frozen corn (whatever you can get.)
  • 1/2C parsley, loosely packed and rough chopped
  • 1 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) +1 tbsp if needed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1C fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 Large egg YOLKS (save the whites for breakfast.)
  • 1 tbsp corn starch

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, salt the water.
  2. In a large skillet just over medium heat, add your bacon. Cook your bacon to your desired doneness. I love crispy bacon, so I cook the heck out of it. Once cooked, remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate (To drain excess fat.) DROP your pasta – cook according to package directions.
  3. Drain as much bacon fat from the pan as you can. Add 1 tbsp EVOO, and let it get nice and warm. Add your onions to the pan, cook until they start to go translucent. Add in your corn kernels and your garlic, give it a nice good stir, cook for a couple minutes until the corn is cooked or warmed through.
  4. In a cup or measuring cup add your egg yolks, slightly whisk them. Add in 2 cups of starchy cooking water from the pasta pot and whisk in your 1 tbsp of corn starch. Add this to your skillet full of corn and onions. Add your bacon back in, season with salt and pepper (ALWAYS taste before you season, and season accordingly.) At this point I turn the heat just between low and medium.
  5. Drain your pasta and add it to the skillet – TOSS everything together. your sauce should be thickened up a bit add more liquid if you prefer. OR just drizzle the pasta with a bit of good EVOO!
  6. Garnish with parsley and make it RAIIIIINN with cheese. And then have more at the table for serving because you can never have too much cheese. Right?

Home made Raviolli with spinach and ricotta filling

I honestly believe there is nothing in this world as amazing as home made pasta. It is SO fresh and so delicious, I swear I can’t go back to store bought boxes of pasta. You just need to find a really good recipe, and I have tried many. My favourite is from Chef Michael Smith. I made a home made tomato sauce as well, but I will not be posting it for a while, so you will have to make or buy your own!14355589_10157410985795099_816792382677748228_n

Ingredients:

-1 lb favorite pasta dough, rolled into  thin strips

-16 fl oz or 2 cups ricotta cheese

-4 cups spinach, chopped as small as you can get it!

-salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg

-1 egg, beaten

-1/4 cup parmigianno reggiano

For topping-

home made or store bought tomato sauce

basil

grated parmesan

 

Directions:

mix your ricotta, spinach, egg, parmigianno, salt and pepper and nutmeg together in a bowl.

Lay your pasta flat on a floured surface. Using a cup, or ravioli cutter, cut out circles big enough to hold 1 tsp of filling, or big enough to fold the pasta over itself. I cut out enough circles so I could put another piece of pasta over the filled ravioli. And then i just used an egg wash to help the edges stick together.

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, season the water with salt. A LOT of salt. Add your ravioli and cook for 7-9 minutes.

Add to a plate, throw pasta sauce on top and add some grated parmesan cheese and some basil.


Havarti stuffed italian meatballs + Home made roasted tomato sauce

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Home made meat balls, home made roasted tomato and garlic pasta sauce, AND home made spaghetti? There can be nothing better than that!!! This isn’t a meal that is super quick to make… But when you ARE prepping this meal, you can easily have it again by doubling your workload for a few hours.. You can freeze/can the pasta sauce, freeze the meat balls, and freeze the pasta for a month! When you are freezing the meat balls, I like to place them on a tray and place them in the freezer so they freeze individually. That way when you put them in a bag, they don’t all stick together. You can take out as many as you need. Yummy! I also will not be including my pasta recipe in this section as I have tried many different ways to prepare it.. and I unfortunately forgot/didn’t write this one down. Oops!!!

 

Ingredients:

Meatballs:

-1lb ground turkey

-1 egg yolk

-1c panko bread crumbs

-1/2 tbsp each of thyme, onion powder, red pepper flakes,rosemary, salt and pepper

-1/2c shredded mozzarella cheese

-20 bite size cubes of jalapeño havarti cheese (1/2″x1/2″)

-5 cloves garlic, grated or minced

Tomato Sauce:

-1 bulb of garlic, top cut off so the cloves are exposed

-1c cherry tomatoes

-2 large beefsteak tomatoes, quartered

-1/2 of a large red onion, quarterd

-salt and pepper

-EVOO

-1 bay leaf dried or fresh

-1c chicken stock

Directions:

For the sauce- Place all ingredients on a silicone lined baking sheet. drizzle with EVOO, season with salt and pepper. Do NOT add the bay leaf. Preheat your oven to 400. Roast the veggies until they are nice and roasty! About 25 minutes or so. The skins on your tomatoes should be nice and wrinkly. Just the way I like it! (ha!)

Once the veggies are roasted, place all of them into a blender. Note- the garlic should just squish out of it’s skin. Add 1c of chicken stock – blend until some what smooth. Place in a pot over a simmering heat, add your bay leaf, and let it simmer.

For the meatballs- preheat oven to 350. in a large bowl combine all ingredients, except for the bite sized cubes of havarti. Form the mixture in to 20 medium balls. Take the cheese cube, place in the middle of the meat ball and push it in while forming the meat ball around the cheese. Roll until smooth.

In a sauce pan over medium high heat, add EVOO. Add your meatballs. brown on all sides (awkward considering they are round, but you get the jist.)

Place on a pan. Put in the oven for 20 minutes, or until cooked the whole way through.

Serve with your favourite spaghetti!