Pan-Fried Chicken with Red Pepper Pesto and Basil-Cheese Pasta

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Get the familiar flavors of Italian cuisine with a cheesy, comfort food twist.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time 30 minutes
Serves 2

INGREDIENTS
2 pieces chicken breast, rinsed and trimmed
3 tablespoons olive oil, for marinade
½ cup canola oil, for pan-frying
Salt and pepper, to taste

FOR THE RED BELL PEPPER PESTO
3 tablespoons regular peanuts, unsalted and roasted
250 grams canned roasted red bell peppers, seeds removed
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
½ cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt

FOR THE BASIL AND CHEESE PASTA
100 grams fettuccine
200 grams cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, rinsed and trimmed
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

PROCEDURE
1 Pat dry the chicken with paper towel and marinate with olive oil. Chill in the fridge for 10 minutes.
2 Prepare the pesto. Place the basil leaves and nuts into the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times. Add the garlic, roasted bell peppers, and Parmesan cheese, and pulse several times more. Scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. While the food processor is running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady small stream. Adding the olive oil slowly while the processor is running will help it emulsify and keep the olive oil from separating. Set aside.
3 Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
4 Heat olive oil in a wok or large frying pan over low-medium heat. Put the garlic and cherry tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the cooked pasta. Add the basil and Parmesan cheese and continue stirring until well-combined. Check the seasoning if it needs more salt. Add freshly ground black pepper.
5 Take out the chicken from the chiller. Season with salt and pepper. Using a small frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Put the chicken and fry until golden brown.
6 To assemble, divide the pasta into two plates and arrange them in the middle of the plate. Put the chicken on top of the pasta, and place the pesto on top of the chicken and some pesto on the sides of the plate.

This recipe was originally published in the February-March 2015 issue of Breakfast Magazine.