Want to up the veg but are craving carbs big time and you want more variety than just more baked potatoes?
To make this dish a quick one (~25 mins), you need to choose vegetables that cook quickly in a fry pan. My new favourite kitchen technique for cooking things quickly is ribboning your vegetables! It almost feels like you get more yield per individual vegetable as opposed to slicing them up. Easy as, all you need to do is peel your veggie of choice (usually carrot, eggplant or in this case zucchini) and peel and peel and peel to get long thin slices that will cook in about 2-3 minutes. Amazing!
Next, to pump up the veg even more i threw in some cherry tomatoes and chopped green beans! I added in chicken as well to satisfy the family taste buds but for work lunches i’d probably omit it for cost and longevity in the fridge reasons. This dish is also conveniently dairy free.
Anyway, let’s get into the recipe!
Pesto Chicken Pasta with Extra Veg (serves 4)
What you’re going to need
3 cups spiral/fusilli pasta (I use Barilla)
1 small chicken breast, sliced into strips
1 medium zucchini, sliced into ribbons with peeler
handful fresh green beans, chopped into even pieces
handful cherry tomatoes, sliced in half lengthways
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup baby spinach
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (I use Cobram Estate)
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1 clove garlic, grated with microplane/crushed
zest of 1/2 lemon, grated with microplane
salt to season
- Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Once boiling, add pasta and cook based on packet instructions.
- In a pulse blender, add all the pesto ingredients and blitz until at the desired consistency (not a paste but not too chunky). Set aside
- In a lightly oiled fry pan on a medium heat, cook the chicken until 90% cooked. Remove from pan and place in a bowl.
- Add the beans and tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the zucchini ribbons, cook for 1 minute.
- Reduce heat to low and add the chicken and pesto. Stir well ensuring the pesto coats all ingredients.
- Strain cooked pasta and add to the fry pan of ingredients. Mix well to coat pasta in pesto. Serve immediately.*
*Can be served cold. Will keep in the fridge for ~3 days (with chicken) and ~5 days (without chicken).